31 answers

Lump on Back of Son's wrist...ganglion Cyst?

Hello Moms,

I was wondering if any of you have any experience with this. When I was 8 or so, I showed my mother that I had a lump on the back of my wrist and she took me to a surgeon who said it was a ganglion cyst for which I needed an operation to have it removed. A few years later, I seemed to have it again so once again I had it removed surgically. It is a sensitive area now and has caused some arthritic type aches my whole life since the operations.

Now, my 6 year old son has come to me with what looks like the same thing. I don't want to take him to a surgeon because I believe we may be advised to go through the same procedures without looking at alternatives. I will have our family doctor check it out but I will be against surgery unless it will be absolutely necessary.

Do any of you have experience with this sort of thing? Thank you in advance!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

my sons father had one and was smashed with a book. He was a little older than six. It was gone in an instant and never came back, no problems.

I have had ganglion cysts removed from both of my wrists and I have another one in one wrist, in a different spot, that I'll be having removed soon. I would NOT recommend the book method because that can cause it to amastisize (sp??) and then it'll spread out more than before.

I would recommend waiting until it's really bothering him before you see about having it removed.

Good luck!!

More Answers

I have had a ganglion cyst for most of my life that I can remember, and it comes and goes... My uncle a Dr., and another family friend who is an MD have from time to time when it got bad done a few old fashioned things that they said are still the best way to go about it, since as you discovered surgery does not seem to help much...
They would do two things when it got visibly larger, either A) put a penny on it and tape it there hard so that it breaks itself up or B) freeze it with a spray and hit it with one of those rubber hammers they use to check reflexes.
These may seem archaic but they said that was the best solution, I have not had a problem for a few years now, and I usually got at least a year or two with the solutions above... it might be worth asking a dr. I can still feel mine a little in my wrist but it is much smaller and not bothersome, so if anything those solutions didn't hurt. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

i had one of those when i was 9yrs old. they just stuck a needle in it and drained it...that was it. never came back. there is always the old way of doing it and slamming a book on it and it apparently pops or something. i couldn't do that ;)

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the last post about "book smashing". Ganglion cysts used to be called Bible bumps. The Bible was the bigest book around and so that is the one doctors used to smash them. They didn't seem to grow back. Also with surgery comes scar tissue & other soft tissue problems. My mom had one on her wrist. Since she was taking her children to orthopedic surgeons anyway she asked one about it. He was an older doctor about to retire (30 yrs ago). He looked at it and got a big book and smashed it. Hope this helps. Also I would consider giving the body what it need nutritionally to support optimal health. I'm a nutritionist if you have questions.
S. Weckter ~ Global Wellness Concepts, Inc. ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

I think some of these can be drained rather than removed. Check with your pediatrician.

i had a re-occuring ganglion cyst when i was going through ivf and couldn't have it operated. i went to an orthopedic surgeon and he just drained it. i had him drain it 3 times( i think). when i was pregnant it did not re-occur. it's been 10 months since i delivered and so far no cyst. i would recommend having it drained before any surgery. i also stopped doing downward dogs & plank pose during yoga. something about pressure during this pose that made the cyst return.

I have a ganglion cyst on my wrist (not my child) but I did not need surgery. It will ache everyonce in a while but nothing motrin wount take care of. If the Dr. says surgery I would find another oppinion.

Make sure to have the dr check it out and see what it is filled with, Some are chalky and can be broken up. Others are fluid filled. My daughter had a lump on the inside of her wrist and the dr drained it with a needle. She was so intersted in what he did,, watched the whole time and it hasnt come back in 18 years. I, on the other hand, had to lay down to keep from passing out while she had this done!! What a whimp I was! I get a chalky lump on the back of my hand and every now and then bump it on somethng and break it up. It just disolves into your body, but can come back later, even after surgery, as you already found with your own. (o:


I have a long history of cysts. Typically one on the back of my head which has been removed several times. The surgery should remove the sack so it doesn't come back but I have not had that experience either - they seem to keep coming back. I now have a ganglion cyst on the inside of my wrist along with carpel tunnel...not fun. My accupuncturist recommends an herbal supplement that causes the cyst to drain. It does not get rid of the sack so the cyst will never go away (but then surgery hasn't caused my cyst on the back of my head to stop recurring). The name of the supplement is Blue Citrus by Seven Forests. Not sure if you can buy direct or if you'll need to go through an alternative health provider. It worked for me once then the ganglion cyst came back and I'm on the stuff again.

Good luck!

Hello Jennifer,

I had a ganglion cyst about 2 years ago. The doctor did mention small surgical procedure but only after we tried to drain it first. She said that if it came back we could drain again but if the pain was intolerable or if it just had too many re-occurences we could do the surgical procedure. So of course I opted to get it drained. This procedure is a in and out doctor's visit. The use a needle and drain the fluid out. the procedure is painless, except for a little pinch when they insert the needle. Anyhow, the hand will hurt for a couple of days and may even bruise a little but the bump will disapear after a couple of days aswell. I'd see if your doctor can do the draining procedure first. I haven't had it reappear since.
Good Luck!

I had one too (as an adult) about 4 years ago. It was there for maybe a year and went away on it's own. it didn't bother me & one day i just noticed it was gone. if it's not bothering your son, maybe just leave & maybe he'll grow out of it.

Hi Jennifer,

I had one on my wrist when I was about 13. I too was told surgery was the only option. However my Mom took me to my Grandfather who was a Chiropractor. He told my Mom that was not true, he told my Mom to hold my hand, then he told me to look away and he smashed it with the edge of a book. It hurt like heck when he did it, and it bruised a bit. However, it never came back and I do not have any problems with arthritis in that area, and that was more than 20 years ago. I do have arthritis in my ankle and my knee where I have had surgery. My point is, seek alternatives, it may hurt more up front and I know it sounds barbaric, but in the long run he will be better off for it. Good luck!


I also had a similar bump on my own hand when I was younger and was told it was called a "bible bump" because the "surgery" that used to be performed was to smash it with the largest book in the house, which happened to be a bible. Turns out that surgery isn't necessarily the best option because the bump or cyst could easily return. I was able to let mine just dissipate naturally and haven't had a problem since I was a teenager. Good luck!

I and my best friend both had these on the backs of our hands. My mom recommended the book method. I was not going for that. So I did heated massage and it went away, but it took 3 years (though after the first year it looked a lot better.) My best friend tried massage and acupuncture. They helped but it never when away and she ended up having to have the surgery b/c she had a tendon that was being aggravated by the cyst.

We're both fine now.

I had one on my hand as a teenager. It never caused me any discomfort and eventually went away on its own. My doctor looked at it and said it was harmless (at least mine was). I wouldn't think the doctor would recommend surgery unless it was painful or harmful. If it's bothering your son, I'd have it checked out.


Dear Jennifer,
My brother in law has a cyst on the back of his wrist as well. It's been there for years. When I first noticed it, I was horrified. He went to the doctor to have it looked at...and it's just a cyst. He has never chosen to have it removed. I personally would not be able to stand to have that lump on me. But it doesn't bother him.
You definitely should take your child to the doctor to have it looked at. When I was a little kid, I had a cyst on my hip and it seemed like no big deal. When my parents got around to having it removed, it was more complicated than if they had done it sooner. The best way I can describe it is that it grew "octopus tentacles" or tree roots and it started branching out into the muscles and tendons and was a lot harder to remove.
Just be sure to get it evaluated to make sure it's benign, won't interfere with his normal growth or development, etc. Then go from there.
I was 12 when I had mine removed and it never came back.

I had a ganglion cyst and they wanted to remove it through surgery. It, too, was on my wrist. After months of discomfort, I started using two complimentary therapies. Since I was using both at the same time, I am not sure which did it - but they were accupuncture and quigong healing. The accupuncturist was actually a Dr. in China prior to coming to America, so they had a little more knowledge than people who learn accupuncture in US schools. It might be worth a try. It has not come back in seven years...

my sons father had one and was smashed with a book. He was a little older than six. It was gone in an instant and never came back, no problems.

I have a ganglion cyst on my right wrist - and I am right handed. I've had it for as long as I can remember - even as a child. It has in no way impeded me.

It is also sometimes called a "bible bump" because if you take one of those great big old family Bibles, and whomp it down on the bump, it will burst and go away.

The cysts are harmless, so I wouldn't worry about it for your son.


Hey Jennifer -

I had one when I was 5, and had it surgically removed. It never came back, and I've never had a problem -- I just have a very faint scar.

And that was 44 years ago. :)

Go for the surgery -- they are a pain (literally) and can be easily removed. They should not grow back unless the surgery was not done properly.

Good luck!


I had one on my finger band would push it alot then one day it went away. I now have several on my forearms inherited from my dad. Thanks Dad. I am now just lumpty dumpty. The surgeon said they will most likely come back so it ios better to just leave them.

I had one of those on my wrist. Dr said that it could be drained but it wasn't worth it because they usually come back. Then one day I was seeing a young dr. for something unrelated and she offered to try draining it. (maybe she wanted the practice) Anyway, she stuck a needle in it and sucked the fluid out. It didn't really hurt. That was about 13 years ago and it hasn't re-filled. So, while they usually don't go away... sometimes they do.

I think you should still take your son in and voice your concerns to his doctor. Medicine has taken leaps and bounds since we were little. It may not be as invasive for him as it was for you.

My daughter had a ganglion cyst on the back of her hand and the doctors wanted to have it sergically removed, I had it scheduled and the morning of the sergery the cyst was gone....it went away/ ruptured on its own. In the olden days people used to smash them under the family Bible, because it was the biggest book in the house. It did the trick. My daughters never came back, but if you have problems with your wrist after sergery, your son might also. Maybe give it time and it will go away on its own.
A friend of mine is a homeopathic consultant and cysts can be treated with homeopathic remedies as well. Elephant
Pharmacy in Walnut Creek has them.

I have never had one of these, but I had a friend who repeatedly got them from overuse. She had some good success with acupuncture. She also had some acupuncture where they sent currents of electricity through the needles to break apart the cyst. She eventually ended up getting a surgery because it kept coming back due to overuse from her job. Good luck!

I have had ganglion cysts removed from both of my wrists and I have another one in one wrist, in a different spot, that I'll be having removed soon. I would NOT recommend the book method because that can cause it to amastisize (sp??) and then it'll spread out more than before.

I would recommend waiting until it's really bothering him before you see about having it removed.

Good luck!!

HI--I had one when I fell on my arm years ago. It was very painful. Eventually someone suggested that it can be treated by breaking the cyst rather than removing it. I know people who had a doctor slam it with a heavy book. My doctor just pressed on it very hard. I have to admit that hurt a lot! It then went away and hasn't been seen since. Good Luck!

I believe I have a ganglion on my wrist. I was looking into treatments for it, but I wasn't too thrilled on the options. I've read they can be drained or removed, but there's still a pretty high chance of reoccurrence. Someone told me that unless it's causing pain or interfering with physical activities, it's best to leave it alone. I did take a homeopathic remedy for a little while and my cyst burst unexpectedly one day while I was loading our van. That was back in April. Unfortunately mine did come back though. If you find a good solution, let me know! :-)

My sister had a recurring cyst on the back of her wrist. She had it drained time and time again over the course of a few years and when she finally had it removed it had "tentacle" roots woven around key ligaments which lenthened the surgical time considerably. It was gone for about 5yrs after that and has recently returned. Have it looked at by an MD while trying massage and any other alternative medicine methods you chose. If the MD offers drainage do that and if it comes back it should probably be surgically removed before it gets a stronghold in his wrist joint.

Hi Jennifer,
I had a ganglion cyst as did a friend of mine and they both eventually went away without surgery. A doctor I spoke to said there is little use in draining them as they usually fill back up. Since they are usually not painful or impeding motion I say see if it goes away on its own. Or you can try the age old method of smashing it with a bible. Yikes!


I had one on the back of my hand 2 years ago and it made it difficult for me to do yoga as it was in the way when i bent my wrist. My doctor told me that they go away by themselves most of the time. Or, you can hit them with a hard book to make them dissipate or have them surgically removed. I decided to wait it out. My yoga instructor when I told her said that it was due to circulation issues and recommended to take Chlorphyll. Chlorphyll is the "blood" of plants and transports nutrients throughout the plants. So, i bought a liquid version at my vitamin store (i believe that there are pills too) and after about 2 months it went away (don't remember actual time as I was not paying that much attention). About a year later it came back so i started to take Chlorphyll again and it went away. It has been about a year since I have had another. i recommend trying this before any surgical proceedure.

p.s., I have been really into nutrition for the past 5 years and read up on all supplements and even have a nutritionalist. I have read many good things about Chlorphyll supplements so it not bad to try out.

Hi Jennifer,

I was talking to a friend of mine about your request. She knows a lot about alternatives. Anyway, she thinks you should look into MaxGXL. It works great on lots of other health issues. The website where she and I both go to, to get it is www.maxgxl.com/maxmagic

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