ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have a raised bump on my wrist?

Question

Why do I have a raised bump on my wrist?

I am a 24 year old generally healthy young woman. I just had a baby 7 months ago. For the past few years I have had a raised bump on the top of my wrist. It seems like it flares up every now and then and can sometimes be painful. I really can't bear weight on it and since I have been holding my daughter, it is getting worse. I am wondering if this has anything to do with my career history of 6+ years of typing and computer keyboard use. I don't know if I should see an orthopedist or my general practitioner. I have a wrist brace I purchased from a drugstore that I sometimes wear and it helps a little. I am not taking any medications.

Answer

The most likely possibility here is that you have a ganglion cyst. Ganglion cysts are growth that come off of the connective tissue surrounding the tendons in the wrist. They tend to be firm but slightly rubbery and they may move up and down when you move the muscles in the wrist or hand whose tendons are involved. They are totally benign, and do not have a risk for cancer or some other serious problem. However, they do sometimes have the tendency to grow larger with time. When they do so, they can become painful, as they tend to get bumped accidentally or get caught up with wrist motion. They are more common and more painful in people with repetitive motions, such as lots of typing and keyboard use. One option for treatment is to do nothing, as sometimes the cysts will shrink and go away. If however it is painful or cosmetically unappealing you can talk to a hand surgeon about possible removal of the cyst. Removal is somewhat complicated, as often small pieces of the cyst tend to remain behind after removal, and increase the chances that the cyst will simply grow back again to the same size as before.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.