Ruptured Ganglion Cyst

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Having a lump that forms in the soft tissue of your hand or wrist can be unsettling, especially if it ruptures. If you find yourself in this situation, schedule an appointment at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow located in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia today!

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Why Have I Developed a Ganglion Cyst?

Some of the most identified reasons why this benign sac of tissue develops include:

  • Trauma/injury
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic joint conditions
  • Repetitive activity and/or stress on the tendon or joint capsule
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease

Ganglion cysts are common in the soft tissue along the back of the wrist and hand but can appear in other areas of your body as well.

What Causes a Ganglion Cyst on the Back of the Wrist to Rupture?

There are several factors that can cause ganglion cysts to rupture, including:

  • Ganglion cysts can rupture on their own, which can occur if you do not seek medical treatment.
  • They may rupture due to a hard fall (particularly in children who fall while playing in a playground or others who participate in sports and have a hard fall on the field).
  • They may also rupture due to pressure or hard impacts, either accidentally or deliberately, to remove the cyst.

What Does a Ruptured Ganglion Cyst Feel Like?

A ruptured cyst can cause pain, especially if it is located by a nerve. The sensation that occurs from a ganglion cyst rupture is often described as feeling like water running along the wrist area.

Once the cyst has ruptured internally, a substantial amount of fluid leaks out under your skin. This can cause the surrounding tissues to become inflamed, increasing sensitivity and tenderness.

You may experience soreness, redness, and swelling for a few days after this has occurred. This is normal, and your symptoms should subside within a few days.

Treating a Ganglion Cyst That Has Ruptured

Although painful, typically, a ganglion cyst rupture is not hazardous to your health. Treatment for a cyst that has burst involves managing your pain until the affected area feels better. This can be done by:

  • Applying ice to reduce swelling
  • Elevating the affected area as much as possible
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers as needed and according to the instructions on the label
  • Seeking medical advice if your pain, swelling, and discoloration do not subside within several days or appear to get worse

While long-term medical care is not needed for this condition, seeking help from a doctor can lower your risk of infection. Our specialists use the latest advancements in technology to make an accurate diagnosis, as well as provide further care if needed. For some, this may include surgery if they have recurrent cysts.

If you believe that your ganglion cyst has ruptured, seek the expertise of our Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow specialists in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia today!

Medically reviewed by

Randall Alexander, MD

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Plastic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon