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Wrist hurts to bend and put pressure on it and there is a bump

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I've been having a problem with my wrist for the last year . On top of my wrist that is between where the arm ends and the hand begins. (NOT the palm side) I had a lump under my skin that is only visible when I bend my hand downward. When I am holding my wrist straight, I can't feel or see the bump at all. It isn't rubbery or soft, it pretty much feels like a bone. my mom said it was a cyst. When it does hurt, the pain was excruciating, but only when bending my wrist up and down or identically hitting it on something. When I bent my wrist down, I could see the bump VERY pronounced and a dent right in front of it. Could I have fractured my wrist somehow? Maybe one of the carpal bones? My wrist doesn't hurt normally, but if I bend my hand downwards to see the bump it feels really sore. and i have had physical therapy but it didn't help, also i wear a wrist stabilizer all the time and this week ive been putting cyst medicine on it. Any help would be appreciated.
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First Helper bubblegumbrat
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replied September 16th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
bubblegumbrat,

Yours is almost a classic description of a ganglion cyst.

Ganglion cysts are very common. The most common place for one to occur in on the dorsal aspect of the wrist (the back of the wrist), over the scapholunate joint.

Ganglions are a sac filled with synovial fluid. They arise from a joint or a tendon sheath. For some reason, an outpouching of the synovial lining occurs, which allows the synovial fluid to collect. This then forms into a cyst. As more and more fluid gets into the cyst it gets larger.

In some patients, the cyst will become larger if they use the wrist a lot and then decrease in size when they rest the wrist. The cysts can vary in size from so large it can be seen from across the room, all the way down to an occult cyst which cannot even by seen on the outside of the skin.

It is very common for the cyst to be more prominent when the patient flexed the wrist down. It is also very common for patients to have discomfort when they extend the wrist and put pressure on it (such as when doing push ups). This is mostly due to a “mass effect” of just having too much tissue in a small area. Extending the wrist back pinched the cyst and tissues around it. When the cyst grows, it pushes other soft tissues out of the way. So, tendons, fascial, retinaculums can all be shifted some.


The dorsal ganglion usually arise off of the scapholunate joint of the wrist. They can be treated in three basic ways.

The first, the can live with the cyst. It is benign, not a cancer. Some patients have no problems from the cyst and as such it is just a cosmetic problem. Others have some discomfort with activity and it interfers with their occupation, so they usually want it treated.

The second treatment is to aspirate the cyst contents. Draining the cyst will take the fluid out, but the cyst wall will remain. To help reduce the chance of the cyst filling back up, compression should be kept on the cyst for at least 72 hours after the aspiration. Some surgeons will inject the cyst with steroids in an attempt to get the cyst walls to scar together, so it will not fill back up again. This method is usually only a permanent solution in less than a third of cases. However, many surgeons will aspirate a cyst, just to confirm the diagnosis.

The last method of treatment is to surgically remove the cyst. This is not just a little office procedure. The patient has to be taken to the operating room. The stalk of the cyst has to be followed all the way down to its origin. Once the origin has been identified, a centimeter of joint capsule along with the whole cyst and stalk have to be removed. The hole in the joint capsule is left to heal in on its own. Closing the defect in the joint capsule increases the rate of recurrence of the cyst.

So, this is a major orthopedic surgery and should not be entered into lightly. Some patients develop some significant scar tissue and this can result in decreased range of motion in the wrist. However, the vast majority of patients do very well after a ganglionectomy. But, the cyst can come back and that is the biggest risk of the procedure. It’s rare after a complete excision, but it does occur.



As to having a fracture of a carpal bone, that usually takes significant trauma. If you have not fallen on your wrist or sustained a significant twisting injury, you most likely do not have a fracture. Also, fractures hurt, so you would probably have known if your broke it.


Again, your description is classic for a ganglion cyst. If it continues to bother you, you should see a hand surgeon for an evaluation. Good luck.
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Users who thank Gaelic for this post: bubblegumbrat 

replied July 27th, 2013
Re: Wrist hurts to bend and put pressure on it and there is a bu
bubblegumbrat wrote:
I've been having a problem with my wrist for the last year . On top of my wrist that is between where the arm ends and the hand begins. (NOT the palm side) I had a lump under my skin that is only visible when I bend my hand downward. When I am holding my wrist straight, I can't feel or see the bump at all. It isn't rubbery or soft, it pretty much feels like a bone. my mom said it was a cyst. When it does hurt, the pain was excruciating, but only when bending my wrist up and down or identically hitting it on something. When I bent my wrist down, I could see the bump VERY pronounced and a dent right in front of it. Could I have fractured my wrist somehow? Maybe one of the carpal bones? My wrist doesn't hurt normally, but if I bend my hand downwards to see the bump it feels really sore. and i have had physical therapy but it didn't help, also i wear a wrist stabilizer all the time and this week ive been putting cyst medicine on it. Any help would be appreciated.


i have the some thing that has happened to me.my mum and step dad think it is nothing but i don't think so,i think that it is much worse. Mad this is how i feel
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replied August 12th, 2013
I have that exact same problem based on your description. I play drums a lot(always pushing it to the limit) and play guitar a good bit as well. I work in a vet clinic as a technician(I have to use my wrists/fingers a lot with restraint for sample collection/holding on to leash with excited dogs dragging you/lifting patients etc...). I have fallen in the past(years ago, skateboarding) and sprained my right wrist(as far as I know since I didn't ever get it checked). I've had to wear a brace in the last couple months for what seemed like mild tendonosis. About 2 weeks ago I did 2-3 hours of weedeating and had numbness tingly sensation in fingers/thumb of my right hand(my wrist wasn't hurting prior) and I had trouble lifting things/turning door knobs. It seemed to heal, but over the last couple days it's been sore. Last night I was drying myself off with a towel(drying my back with side to side motion) and I had a painful burning sensation in my wrist. Now I can't put pressure on it(like doing push ups), it hurts to turn door knobs, but clenching my fist doesn't hurt. My wrist normally cracks/pops without pain when rolling it around, but now it hurts to(burning sensation). Anyways, I've not yet been to the Dr, but have done some googling and came across carpal bossing. Your description of location of bump, it feeling like a bone and the divot in front of bump when flexing wrist down makes me wonder if it is carpal bossing. Check out this link http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpometaca rpal_bossing . Keep us updated, I'm interested to hear how your healing goes or what a Dr says about it. I'll keep you guys updated on my situation, I'm holding off on going to the Dr to see if rest takes care of it. I'm considering doing ice/heat to help blood supply to area , taking vitamins/supplements and maybe doing some stretches once the soreness has calmed down.
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replied January 5th, 2014
wrist
I have what looks like a bone sticking up at the side of my wrist well the littke finger side on the wrist been there for a while and now at time starting to cause pain keep it wraped up but has got worse but don't want to waste dr time.
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