Recovery & Support for Ganglion Cysts

Depending on the location of the ganglion cyst and the type of treatment used to remove or shrink it, full recovery can take two to eight weeks. During this time, your NYU Langone doctor may advise you to use the affected wrist, hand, ankle, or foot lightly and avoid any activities that may irritate the affected area. 

If you have had an aspiration procedure, in which the cyst was drained, or surgery to remove the cyst, you must wear a splint for about one week following the procedure to limit movement and take stress off the joint. Your doctor advises you when you can remove the splint and resume your usual activities. 

If appropriate, hand therapy may be prescribed during recovery from surgery. NYU Langone certified hand therapists can work with you to regain your strength and flexibility, so that you can return to your daily activities and tasks. The length of therapy is determined by your doctor and depends on the severity of your symptoms after surgery. It is performed on an outpatient basis.

Ganglion cysts may grow back after treatment if the “root” of the cyst—the part that connects it to the joint or tendon—is not removed. Cysts are less likely to return if surgically removed rather than aspirated, because in aspiration, the root is only partially removed. If a ganglion cyst returns, aspiration or surgical removal may again be needed.

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