Ganglian Cyst on my wrist

I will be having surgery shortly to remove a cyst on the underside of my wrist and wondered if it may be due to paddling incorrectly. Is this possibly a sign of my holding the paddle wrong? I am curious to know if this is something that is somewhat common to kayak paddlers - i had tendonitis in my other elbow from gardening but just wrapped it and continued paddling as the season here for paddling is short and i didnt want to give it up! Perhaps by babying one side i did harm to the other? Hand specialist has no input as to the reasons for these things. I think repetitive behaviour could account for it. Any input would be of interest to me. Thanks,

That sort of thing
is not caused by paddling, cycling, or any other pleasurable activity. It is caused by housework or desk work.

Ganglion cysts seem to have no rhyme or reason. The ankle and wrist are the most common areas for this benign tissue to collect. Years ago the Bible (sometimes the only book in the house) was used to “smash” the cyst allowing the body to resorb the unwanted mass. If you were to develop a wrist pathology due to your technique it would be tendonitis/tendonosis or a carpal tunnel syndrome. Happy paddlin’

Had one. Broke on its’ own.
this machine is a lot harder on wrists than paddling.

Hate to disagree but your cyst can indeed be egged on by paddling or any other activity that involves gripping and articulation. Key boarding and driving contribute almost as much as paddling. But the good news is that good technique (push don’t pull) and avoiding having your wrist lay over deep (like a waiter with a massive tray loaded heavy) will help avoid more of these cyst. Believe it or not lifting and loading your boat and bending the wrist back can bring on these cyst after you begin the most benign of activities.

no rhyme or reason?
the lady has a cyst on the wrist

and you say there’s no rhyme?

Here’s website …
that explains ganglion cysts in some detail:

Maybe, you have already researched your condition ad nauseam, but if you haven’t you should probably do so before having surgery.

At first glance, I would have to agree with the previous paddler and say that paddling certainly has a potential for interacting with your cyst, as does any form of recreational or occupational activity involving wrist motion. The above website explains why.

Having had tons of physical problems myself, the best advice I can give you is this: Get informed about your condition (google is your best friend here), don’t blindly trust the first (or really any) medical opinion you receive, and try to understand what is the true cause of your problems. A cyst, as I understand it, doesn’t just pop for no reason, but rather can be caused by a weakness or inflammation in the wrist joint capsule or tendons. Which raises the question of whether and, if so why there your wrist is weak and/or inflamed in the first place. Unfortunately, MDs - in my experience - have no interest in this type of analysis, preferring a quick fix.

If you are not sure what to do, you may want to look for an osteopath (OD) or soft tissue chiropractor (DC). They tend to think more along these lines and will use conservative, non-invasive treatment measures before resorting to surgery. You may still end up having surgery in the end, but you should make sure that you actually need surgery and that the cause of the cyst is addressed. Surgery will only remove the cyst, no more. Treating the underlying cause could be as simple as modified wrist motion while paddling, etc., or doing specific exercises designed to strengthen the weak part of your wrist.

Please note: No, I am not a medical professional of any sort and have no personal interest in your choice of treatment. In other words, I am not some hawk-eyed chiropractor trying to pick up new patients. I really do have a lot of medical problems that continue to have a huge impact on my life, including paddling, and over the years I have had to research all sorts of crazy conditions (ever heard of Wartenberg’s Syndrome or Central Pain? I didn’t think so, neither had I before this whole mess started) because 12 different doc’s had no clue.

Fortunately, a ganglion cyst is not a mystery, but you still want to make sure you understand exactly what it is you are dealing with.

Sorry for the long-winded post. I hope it’ll somehow help you.


Thanks to all
I appreciate all your responses. I am not one to give in to surgery easily and i guess that is why i posted - for some input other than this particular doctor - and keeping him in business! I also believe i have done something to provoke the cyst - although hoping paddling isnt it - I tend to drive with one hand as i drove standard for so many years that it became somewhat of a habit - trying to change that but of course - the cyst is there - Not sure what i will do yet but it is great to get all your ideas and suggestions!

Thanks bunches!

Not sure if it’s the same thing, but
I developed a little hard bone like thing on the inside of my wrist during the time that I was throwing steel tip darts every day for a year, about an hour a day, sometimes 2-6 hrs. It went away 3-6 months after it developed. It never hurt or caused any problem, so I never did anything about it, except worry a teeny bit.

Paul S.

Probably it
I thought i had a bone sticking out of my wrist as it developed literally overnight - that may have been what you had also but the bump is actually a fluid that is marblelike now - i would leave it alone and wait but mine can ache at times.

One item you will see- sometimes the cyst will go away on its own, or be greatly reduced over time. Mine showed up quickly, then after ~5 months, reduced to a small bump. If you haven’t waited 6 months to 1 year, you may want to. Surgery amongst all those key nerve paths could cause bigger, permanent function loss than an unsightly bump.

With your cyst
Did you have any pain or discomfort with your cyst in those months? If so, did it go away as the cyst reduced in size?

Spent the day today in pain…

– Last Updated: Oct-15-06 8:48 PM EST –

I have the same thing. Typically it doesn't hurt, but when I wear my drysuit, the latex wrist gaskets compress over the area causing quite a bit of discomfort. I have had surgery suggested as well, but have avoided it for the reasons listed here. Too many nerves (not to mention a little thing called a radial artery) are in the area...makes me want to wait for surgery another day.

Oh...and it probably wasn't paddling that caused the just cropped up one day. However, I did break the same wrist years ago while snoboarding...spose that could be an issue.

Paddle on....

Paddle on...

I had the surgery
I had the surgery about 11 years ago. Best thing I ever could have done. Had a Ganglion Cyst about the size of a quarter on my right wrist and writing was very painful. Went to one of the best hand surgeons on the east coast. Apparantly you have to be sure you get all the “roots” of the cyst out or else it can come back, which is why I went to the best guy around. I had a ton of problems before it was removed and have not had one problem since.


The old wives way was to hit it with a
book or something flat. Supposedly, it made the cyst break up and go away. If you are into pain, might be worth a try.

Get it removed
I had the same thing about 8 years ago on the back of my wrist. About the size of a large marble. It showed up after I fell hard on my wrist snowboarding, diminished after a month or two, but then everytime after that I would fall or impact my wrist(including a long day of mountain biking) it would get sore and swell up again to the point that it restricted movement. Scheduled the surgery, and after injecting me with some really good drugs, they removed it with a local and sent me home. A small scar and 6 weeks of healing, no problems since.

Yep, mine appeared overnight too.
Sounds like size can vary. Mine was relatively small I think, about the size of 2/3 of a tic tac breath mint. (2/3 because it is more or less round, not as long as a tic tac).

Paul S.

Drugs for sure
I wont let em near me until they drug me !! The risk of nerve damage according to specialist is very small as it is not in an area of high risk although he did say even cutting the skin can cause numbness. I guess there are risks to everything - i would like it done - over with - and be ready for next season to start paddling again. Tough decision as some good points yay and nay here. Thanks all!

) Treatment options: There are three main treatment options for ganglia. First, it is possible to leave it alone if it isn’t causing any discomfort; ganglia are harmless. Once the diagnosis is made and the patient is reassured that the mass isn’t cancer or something else which requires immediate attention, the patient may wish to just watch and wait. If the ganglion is causing discomfort or mechanical problems, there are two main options for relief: aspiration (removal of the cyst contents with a needle) and surgical removal of the cyst itself.

Aspiration involves inserting a needle into the cyst and removing its contents after numbing the area with a local anesthetic. Because it is thought that inflammation contributes to the production and accumulation of the fluid in the cyst, an anti-inflammatory drug (steroid) is often then injected back into the cyst in an attempt to decrease the inflammation and prevent subsequent refilling of the cyst. Recent research found that using another substance (hyaluronidase, an enzyme used in the treatment of certain forms of arthritis to promote resolution of redundant tissue) along with the steroid after aspiration increased the cure rate from 57% (aspiration and steroid alone) to 89% with the combined substances.

If the cyst is disfiguring, causes pain, mechanical problems, nerve complications (motor or sensory loss due to pressure by the ganglion on a nerve), or recurs after a previous aspiration, then surgical excision is warranted. This involves making an incision over the area of the cyst, identifying the entire cyst, and removing it along with a portion of the underlying tendon sheath or joint lining from which it originates. The hand is then splinted for 7 to 10 days. The procedure is usually fairly minor, but can be complicated depending on the location of the cyst and whether it impinges on any vital structures in the hand (nerves, tendons, blood vessels). It is important to discuss the different treatment options with your physician if you are diagnosed as having a ganglion cyst.