Last reviewed: 23 Sep 2021
Last updated: 19 Oct 2021

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • subcutaneous wrist mass
  • wrist pain
  • non-tender mass
  • increased mass size after activity
  • trans-illuminating mass

Other diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • unable to recall onset of lump
  • cosmetically unpleasing lump
  • hand or finger coolness
  • paraesthesia or weakness of fingers
  • reduced sensation in the hand

Risk factors

  • female sex
  • age 10 to 30 years
  • trauma
  • scapholunate instability

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • cyst aspiration
  • erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • C-reactive protein
  • full blood count
  • uric acid
  • wrist x-ray
  • ultrasound
  • magnetic resonance imaging

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors

Philip Blazar, MD

Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery

Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Boston

MA

Disclosures

PB declares that he has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Dr Philip Blazar would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Marco Rizzo and Dr Kristofer S. Matullo, previous contributors to this topic.

Disclosures

MR and KSM declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

George Chloros, MD

Fellow

Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Winston-Salem

NC

Disclosures

GC declares that he has no competing interests.

Lorenz Buchler, MD

Senior Physician

Clinic for Orthopedic Surgery

University Hospital Bern

Bern

Switzerland

Disclosures

LB declares that he has no competing interests.

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