Hand Surgery

Ganglions of the fingers and wrist

Ganglions are the most common tumours in the hand and wrist. A ganglion is a fluid-filled cyst that is commonly found around the wrist, at the base of the fingers or beside the end joint of the fingers. Ganglion cysts usually arise from joints or synovial lined tendons. They occur commonly as a result of an overuse syndrome, but may be related to arthritis or following a hand injury. They first appear as a swelling under the skin and may feel soft or firm.

A ganglion cyst can become apparent gradually or more quickly and then often changes in size, but generally starts out the size of a pea. Ganglion cysts can cause aching near the affected joint, due to damage to the joint capsule and are made worse with repetitive movement. Ganglions can very occasionally disappear spontaneously, but surgical removal by a plastic surgeon would be recommended if the ganglion becomes painful or unsightly.

There are other less common hand tumours, most of which are usually benign. These include lipomas, sebaceous cysts, giant cell tumours, neuromas and enchondromas. If you do have a tumour or swelling in the region of your hand or wrist, it should be assessed by an experienced plastic surgeon to arrange for its removal and to ensure it is not dangerous to your health.


Treatment of Ganglions and Hand Tumours– Hand Surgery

Surgical removal of ganglions and other tumours of the hand is safe and effective. This type of hand surgery is be performed as day procedure, under local anaesthesia, under sedation or sometimes under sedation or general anaesthesia.

In some cases prior to surgery, specialist hand and plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Hamilton may recommend radiological assessment by Xray and Ultrasound of the tumour to verify the diagnosis, to ensure it is not a dangerous lesion and to rule out any involvement of surrounding joints, tissues, etc. In the majority of cases, under the care of our expert hand surgeon, the lump can be safely excised from the hand without damage to surrounding structures. Following surgical removal, the recurrence rate of a ganglion is usually minimal.

Please contact the office of Dr. Hamilton in Adelaide if you are considering surgical treatment of a hand tumour. Following a full hand assessment a treatment plan will be suggested by Dr. Hamilton to correct the problem.