Dorsal Wrist Ganglion


  • Swelling on the back of the wrist


  • A fluid filled cyst, arising from the ligaments/capsule of the wrist. Most commonly the scapho/lunate ligament.


  • Pain/discomfort is felt on the back of the wrist, usually exacerbated by wrist extension
  • The swelling is usually clearly seen, more prominent with wrist flexion. The swelling can come and go.
  • X-rays are usually normal.
  • MRI/Ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis as a fluid filled cyst.


  • Aspiration can deflate the cyst, usually reoccurs
  • Surgery – General Anaesthetic
    • Transverse or longitudinal incision
    • Excision of cyst and ‘stalk’ from where the cyst arises
    • Specimen sent to laboratory for histological analysis

Potential Complication

  • Infection, Haematoma, numbness to back of hand
  • Stiffness
  • Small chance of reoccurrence – less than 5%.

Post Op

  • Day surgery
  • Supportive bandage for ten days
  • Wound check and discuss histology at 10 days
  • Back to most activities by two weeks
University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs NZOA  University Of Auckland Auckland Born Joint Surgery Fracs