T Nation

Ganglion Cyst


I wasn't really sure of where to post this thread, but figured here's a good a spot as any. I'm hoping someone on here has some good info on these things.

A bit of history: When I was 19 or so, I broke my right wrist (Scaphoid bone) punching someone out. I needed to get a pin put in my wrist as the break was pretty severe. The recovery from the surgery was not that pleasant, as I was away from the gym for months and when I did come back, I was lifting baby weights for a long time, plus I've never been able to get full mobility back in my wrist.

Fast forward some years: I started to have some very unfrequent pain and discomfort in this wrist, usually associated with doing something completely insignificant (e.g. picking up a cup of coffee), as opposed to doing something strenuous such as benching or dead lifting, etc.

I went in for an X-ray to find out what was wrong, to discover I've got several of these cysts within the wrist that from time to time, causes my some aggrivation.

Question: Does anyone know how to get rid of them? I heard a rumour that surgeons can now inject the cyst with a needle and suck out the fluid. If so, does anyone have any background on this, or if they've had it done, or? I figured if this is true, it's a less invasive approach that shouldn't require a huge recovery, or am I wrong?

I'd just hate to go in for another invastive wrist surgey and have a massive lay-off from exercise for a good 6 months, as well as loose more mobility in my wrist, etc.

Anyone know or have any thoughts?


Even if you have them surgically removed the recovery is only as long as it takes the sutures to heal.

Anything I'd say here won't really matter because you need to actually see a provider to have it aspirated/injected/incised.

There's an old joke that you just smack them with a book. In truth I had a particularly bothersome one and I couldn't have it excised so I used to smack it down and that would last for months vs needle aspiration which would only last for weeks.

Eventually I found the time to have it excised and I only waited 48 hours to fully resume my activities.

Good luck.


It may just be a wives' tale, and I have no experience with the things, but I've heard that the way to get rid of them is to smash them with a heavy book or against a wall.


I've got one in my right wrist. Not as bad as yours, but enough that it aggravated my ability to do pushups while in the military.

The doctor tried to drain it. 9 times in one sitting. The guy missed the cyst every time. It was so painful I told him to just stop trying.

Obviously, this is down to the skill of the physician. In this case, I think the guy doing it had never done it before, and wasn't in general a very good doctor. Of course, I didn't get much of a choice -- it was a military doctor.

I will tell you that it's painful. Whether the temporary pain of having it drained outweighs your chronic pain is your call. If you're not a fan of needles, I don't suggest watching, as it's a rather large-gauge needle they use.


My wife had a reoccurring cyst on her wrist. She had it drained a few times and then had it surgically removed. Finally this old doctor told her to take 4 shots of tequila and have me smash a heavy book on it. That worked, no lie. Plus I can say I "threw the book" at my wife.


Yikes! Sorry you had such a bad experience...

This is my primary concern as well, as it gets down to the skill level of the physician.

I'm not afraid of needles, so it wouldn't really phase me, seeing that the area is frozen (I'd suspect (hope)).

Did you end up having it surgically removed, or did you just try to manage with it?

Too funny...

I'd be willing to try this as well, however I have the pin my wrist that would really suck if it cracked when the book is slammed down on it.

Hell, I'd be willing to give this a whirl myself, but I'd need to know precisely where to slam the book.


I do recall a story my grandfather used to tell me of having one that bothered him back in the day and he stuck his arm out the window of the house and SLAMMED the window down on it and that did the trick.



I just live with mine. When I do pushups now, I do them on my closed fists, with straight wrists. I wasn't allowed to do that in the military.


Some docs will recommend you try using NSAIDs prior to surgery. How much and what kind depends how bad the cyst is. If the NAIDs fail, knock hell out that sum bitch.


I had this happen about 5 years ago. I started having pain in the wrist during presses or anything else where I applied force with my wrist bent backwards. Eventually it started to swell and the pain was limiting my workouts so I went to an orthopedic clinic that takes care of the local college athletes.

The doctor looked at it and asked "Do you do any lifts that put extreme pressure on your wrists?" After some investigation, the doctor said I had ruptured a tendon that was leaking fluid which then formed the cyst. Anyway, I had it surgically removed and was lifting again in a couple of weeks. I took it easy for quite a while though.

The only thing I've changed since then is I never attempt what I think is my 1rm. I still lift heavy, but the one thing about getting older is that it seems that all the rubber parts are wearing out and just don't allow for as much abuse as they used to.


A friend of mine had one on his wrist, I convinced him to let me hit it with a book, to be professional I used a medical book, here is the video.

Turns out it was a calcium deposit and had to be surgically removed. Ooops.

Moral of the story, have the Dr. do it.


I had mine surgically removed when I was in my early 30's. Wasn't a big deal really. Local anaesthetic, in and out in about an hour. As someone said above, to recover it only took as long as the wound to heal.

bashing it with a book or whatever does kinda work, but eventually it will come back. I can't comment on getting it drained, I never had that done.


To here that there were several cysts sounds like anything BUT a ganglion cyst, so I would not recommend any do it yourself fixes.

Very often you can get benign bony cyst secondary to old injuries. Given your past history, find a reputable hand surgeon and get a definitive diagnosis before thinking about treatment options.

Like DDay, I too have seen kids do all kinds of things in an effort to self treat and a majority of them make themselves worse.