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misshoneybee

Proud Parent
Jan 29, 2010
82
Region 5
Has anyone had any experience with ganglion cyst surgery and whether or not it was successful in getting rid of reducing the severe pain associated with it?

My 11 year L5 gymnast has had wrist pain for 2 years. 3 months ago she stopped tumbling, vaulting and unevens. She has been working on dance and beam (with no handstands, etc.). Her wrist hurts her now more than it did 3 months ago.

For the last 2 years she has been followed by a sports med doc that is highly regarded in our large city. Her pain is so bad she wants surgery. I took her to an orthopedic hand surgeon who did an arthrogram and an MRI with contrast and there is no structural damage, broken bones, or bruised cartilage. He said it is unlikely that the severe pain she has is coming from her cyst. He said surgery is not a guarantee that the pain will go away and there is a 50/50 chance that the cyst will come back. He also said that the scar could cause her pain.

Does anyone have any experience with ganglion cyst surgery in the wrist and was it successful at all at relieving the associated pain?

Thanks in advance.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I have never had cysts removed, but I have had many cysts, still have one now in fact.

Have they tried removing the fluid from the cyst to see f the pain lessens? I had this done a couple of times and I did fel some change. I have avoided surgery as they cannot guaranteee the cysts will not return. I have had many cysts come and go all by themselves over the years.
 

misshoneybee

Proud Parent
Jan 29, 2010
82
Region 5
Thank you for your response. They have tried to drain it. The fluid is too thick. Her pain is so severe she can't even open up a bottle of water. Basically the docs have no explanation for her pain. She may have to stop gymnastics as a result and of course she does not want to do that.

It is hard because they don't know what is causing the pain even after we have done all these imaging studies, hours and hours of pt and months of rest. She is very sad and I am sad for her too. :(
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,841
North Carolina
So sorry your DD is going through this. pain & no answers is frustrating & you almost start to feel like you are crazy. I don't know anything about the cysts or the surgery. I will say this.... Last year I began suffering from hip & SI joint pain. Did all the tests, high dose motrin, physical therapy, x-rays, contrast MRI, Bursa & hip cortosone injections..... finally, with the tests not showing anything but mild arthritis, they did arthroscopic hip surgery. found several Icroscopic labrel tears & synovitis & arthritis. I am doing much better. I still have some pain, but am so much better than I was. So, I can't give you any medical advice or make the decision for you, obviously, however, I felt so much better after the surgery just knowing there really was something wrong, I wasn't crazy & my pain is managable now.

good luck to you & your DD whatever you choose to do.
 

misshoneybee

Proud Parent
Jan 29, 2010
82
Region 5
We both feel like we are going crazy. While she can't verbalize it I know she feels "dismissed" in a way. The doc told her she might have to quit gymnastics and walked out of the room. Which is hard to hear when no explanation was given for the pain. It would have been easier had he said "you have a serious tendon injury and need to take a year off" or something.

Are there a lot of gymnastics who have to leave the sport for unexplained injuries or pain?
 
Jan 9, 2011
142
Midwest
Ugh - edited this to change the spelling of a word. I accidentally wiped out everything below it, then of course clicked "save" instead of 'cancel, I guess'. So, here's a re-type:

Would it be possible to get a second opinion? I might if I were in your situation. It's a tough call. I am sorry your DD is going through it. I wanted to add that I had one myself about 9 years ago. It was quite painful, and I had a LOT of trouble supporting my weight on that hand. My doc drained it and injected it with cortisone (ouch, ouch, ouch!!). I was told they usually come back unless they're operated on. :(

I did not have a surgery, so I can't comment from that perspective. But I did want to say that it was tremendously painful, even into my hand.

Sorta funny story:

So, my cyst DID come back as predicted. About 3 years after the initial procedure it had grown big enough to see again. I was being stubborn and didn't want to go back to the doctor and have the surgery performed (I'd recently gone through back-to-back C-sections! I'd had enough). One day I went to swat the dog on the bottom (not hard, I'm not dog abuser or anything! I just needed to get her attention so she'd move and she was being stubborn!). She naturally moved as my hand was in motion and I ended up hitting her tush at an odd angle. Yeow, did my wrist hurt and swell (and did for like 3 days!), but the cyst apparently ruptured. It hasn't come back.

My grandpa had one in his 20's. His doctor smashed it with a book. Apparently, it's how they treated it back then! Not that I am condoning it at all, I imagine there's the potential for doing some damage!!! Consult a doc!!
 
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Apr 5, 2008
40
NC
My Daughter has one on the top of her foot. the pain comes and goes. Apparently when it shifts it presses on a nerve. She refused to have it drained, hates needles, so she just lives with the issue. I would sometimes really bother her when vaulting. I think it was the way the pressure was when running. It is also right in the spot where alot of shoes straps come across, so some shoe styles are out.

The doctor even mentioned "bible thumping" it. that was what they did for many years!
 

misshoneybee

Proud Parent
Jan 29, 2010
82
Region 5
LOL - I am holding out hope that the next time my DD punches her little sister her cyst will pop too! I am considering getting a second opinion HOWEVER I think they are going to request their own MRI (done in their own facility) which would mean a second MRI (what a scam). We have some great ortho centers here and they only like to treat patients if their MRI's are done at their facilities. I know this because I used to work in a hospital that had a big ortho department. I think the docs must own stock in the MRI companies quite frankly. Not to mention my daughter had to be sedated for 2 hours to get the arthrogram and MRI done. Don't know if I would do that again.
 
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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,841
North Carolina
that is fyunny. I was talking to a dad @ the gym the other day. he had one. someone told him te same thing. he thought they werr kidding but his wife smacked it with a book & it went away.

i just didn't want to tell OP to hit her DD with a book :rolleyes:
 
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Jan 9, 2011
142
Midwest
LOL - I am holding out hope that the next time my DD punches her little sister her cyst will pop too! I am considering getting a second opinion HOWEVER I think they are going to request their own MRI (done in their own facility) which would mean a second MRI (what a scam). We have some great ortho centers here and they only like to treat patients if their MRI's are done at their facilities. I know this because I used to work in a hospital that had a big ortho department. I think the docs must own stock in the MRI companies quite frankly. Not to mention my daughter had to be sedated for 2 hours to get the arthrogram and MRI done. Don't know if I would do that again.

Liking the hope, not the mounting medical bills and procedures - yikes! And I am sure the doctors get kickbacks for the referrals. Though lets hope that isn't their primary motivation for requesting them! Good luck, I really hope your DD gets through this and is pain-free and can still do gymnastics, if she so chooses!
 

sportzmomov3

Proud Parent
Jan 6, 2009
156
Metropolitan USA
I have had ganglion cyst surgery on my wrist. The only reason I had the surgery was because it was a large, unsightly cyst and it was in a place that could have affected nerves and such; it was delicate surgery but painless. No pain ever preceded the surgery either. It went away for years, then came back a year or so ago - as large and unsightly as before (icky). Well now I'm older and less vain, so no more surgery, I'll just live with it - it still doesn't cause me any pain whatsoever, but I'm not swinging bars or doing BHS either.

If it were me, and my DD was in severe pain (which I would define as not even being able to do ordinary day-to-day things like opening up a water bottle), I would get a 2nd opinion.

Best of luck...hope the cause is determined soon for your DD's sake (and yours too!)
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
My grandpa had one in his 20's. His doctor smashed it with a book. Apparently, it's how they treated it back then! Not that I am condoning it at all, I imagine there's the potential for doing some damage!!!

I had oone "treated" this way back in the 80's by my family doctor. He was loking at my cyst, picked up a big text book (I assumed to read something in it) then whacked my hand with it. The cyst went for sure, but my wrist has never been the same since. This would not be my treatment of choice.

I would certainly try to get a second opinion. Chronic pain is just terrible.
 
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D

Deleted member D3987

Ugh - edited this to change the spelling of a word. I accidentally wiped out everything below it, then of course clicked "save" instead of 'cancel, I guess'. So, here's a re-type:

Would it be possible to get a second opinion? I might if I were in your situation. It's a tough call. I am sorry your DD is going through it. I wanted to add that I had one myself about 9 years ago. It was quite painful, and I had a LOT of trouble supporting my weight on that hand. My doc drained it and injected it with cortisone (ouch, ouch, ouch!!). I was told they usually come back unless they're operated on. :(

I did not have a surgery, so I can't comment from that perspective. But I did want to say that it was tremendously painful, even into my hand.

Sorta funny story:

So, my cyst DID come back as predicted. About 3 years after the initial procedure it had grown big enough to see again. I was being stubborn and didn't want to go back to the doctor and have the surgery performed (I'd recently gone through back-to-back C-sections! I'd had enough). One day I went to swat the dog on the bottom (not hard, I'm not dog abuser or anything! I just needed to get her attention so she'd move and she was being stubborn!). She naturally moved as my hand was in motion and I ended up hitting her tush at an odd angle. Yeow, did my wrist hurt and swell (and did for like 3 days!), but the cyst apparently ruptured. It hasn't come back.

My grandpa had one in his 20's. His doctor smashed it with a book. Apparently, it's how they treated it back then! Not that I am condoning it at all, I imagine there's the potential for doing some damage!!! Consult a doc!!

had 1 obliterated by the "book" technique when i was 13. never came back.

try aspirating first. and then wait. sometimes they come back smaller after aspirating.

surgery, of course, removes it instantly. and because these things have a memory there is a chance it can come back. but those that i have seen come back after surgery were smaller.
 

Iwannabemargo

Numpty Watcher
Proud Parent
Aug 28, 2011
6,962
UK
dd's friends dad has one in his wrist and the doctor recommended the book technique last week so its still in current medical practice !
 
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Tumblequeensmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,451
My DD has never had the surgery. She developed the first one when she was 12. I had NO idea what it was until a PT friend of mine told me what it was. I did the research, made an appt. w/the GP, etc. Found out that surgery is not the best treatment for a typical ganglion cyst. My brother in law had done the "whack a book" method for his own cyst... and of course it came back. DD's got bigger and bigger until it finally "popped" on it's own at gymnastics practice one night. It didn't come back for another year. She's probably had 5 or so since then... we all know now what it is and that she needs to get out on that floor and tumble and that will take care of it once it gets big enough! Horrible to have to go through, but she's a trooper at dealing with it on her own now.

Once you mention "ganglion cyst", it seems like almost everyone you know has dealt with one in the past. They are painful to deal with, but not one of the people I know has ever done the surgery because the likelihood of recurrence is so high w/these little boogers!

Good luck and I hope your DD's cyst pops on its own!
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,525
I would get a 2nd opinion. Her symptoms seem very severe for a ganglion cyst unless it is constantly putting pressure on a nerve and if thats the case then she needs the surgery(which is short procedure). Does she ever complain of pain going up or down her arm??
Ok, one of orthopedics little secrets. These big practices that have their own MRI scanners have to pay for them and they are very expensive----not to mention the salaries for the techs, scanner upkeep etc. That is why they like you to have scans at their facility. You can get the disk with her MRI and take it to the other ortho.
 
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Apr 9, 2010
403
I had one on my wrist last year. I went to the doctor because it was painful. They did an ultrasound on my wrist and saw that it was pressing on a tendon and that it was all liquid. Had it drained and injected with cortizone. It hurt so bad. I had to have a wrist support on for a month. They said if I moved it it had the chance of coming back. And if it came back they would do surgery and then put a cast on so they would make sure that there was no movement. Well it was still there shortly after I took the wrist support off but it wasn't hurting like it used to. All the sudden I looked at it one day and my hand was all swollen and it popped. It did this 3 times and it kept coming back. Not pressing on the tendon though. I eventually kept just pushing on it and trying to push the liquid out. I had my husband sit on it with his wallet pressing against it and just kept pushing on it and it has been gone since. Once in a while I can still feel a little bit of pain if I shift my wrist wrong but it's not hurtful to use my wrist anymore.
 

Tumblequeensmom

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,451
So glad that you did not opt for surgery!! As you discovered, these things come back... regardless of whether you move your wrist of not!
 
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