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What causes painful swelling on wrist?

Answered by
Dr. Rishi

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 1312 Questions

Posted on Tue, 20 Oct 2015 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have a lump appear on my wrist near the bone when I apply slight pressure to my forearm. The bump appears to be in the vein and is somewhat "squishy" to the touch. My wrist has been weak and cannot carry much without aching.

I had a doctor look at it and said it didn't appear to be a cyst (though they did not do any kind of testing on it). Ruled out tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

I have not fallen or injured my wrist that I am aware of. Though I am a piano player for a living and carry heavy equipment.

I was prescribed an anti inflammatory by my doctor. But am concerned that it does not appear to be getting better. (It's been 5-6 days of resting my wrist).

Do you know what this could be, what caused it, and if it's something serious? How concerned should I be?

Thank you for your help
Answered by Dr. Rishi 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It is probably a Ganglion.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, It is most likely a Ganglion.
These are the commonest swellings in that area and nothing needs to be done about them.
They are extremely common swellings that arise out of tendons and are found in almost every other individual. They do not cause pain and hardly grow in size just remain constant with minimal change in size if any.
To confirm it you can get yourself examined by a Surgeon who would be able to tell you with certainty. There is no other investigation required for its diagnosis. It has not occurred due to anything you have done. It appears spontaneously.
People get this thing treated only due to cosmetic reasons.
The way to treat it is by either putting a thick suture in it and removing its gel like fluid but it will surely recur by this modality. The other way is to get it removed surgically. This is a sure shot treatment for near complete cure.
Take care,
Do feel free to ask any queries that you might have.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Rishi 41 hours later
I have noticed some pain in my wrist. There is a tenderness and possibly (hard to tell) slight swelling on and around the bone, on the wrist below the thumb. Is this related to the possible cyst? It has now been a little over a week of tenderness and limited use of my wrist. There is no visible bruising or discoloration of skin.

Is there a timeline for how long it will take to be back to 100%?

I typically work out twice a week with a trainer. Should I modify for my wrist or avoid using it all together?

What else should I be doing besides resting and bracing it?

I have been prescribed an anti inflammatory and muscle relaxant. Should I be using them? The muscle relaxant makes me very lethargic and would like to avoid that if possible. However my wrist recovering as soon as possible is my number 1 priority.
Answered by Dr. Rishi 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
The medicines can be stopeed but I feel it deserves a second loook.

Detailed Answer:
You should see an Orthopaedic Surgeon who can examine you and be sure of what it is.
If it is a Ganglion, then it will remain more or less the same over the next few years. You should decrease the movements of your wrist and this will help. It will prevent any inflammation to gather in the swelling.
Measures other than rest and bracing can be suggested by your Surgeon once it is determined what it is.
I do not think that the muscle relaxants are required. You can stop using them. The anti-inflammatory medicines can also be stopped after you have had them for a week or so and continue them SOS if there is pain in the lump or sudden swelling.
But please have a second look on it by an Orthopaedic Surgeon or a General Surgeon who would be able to opine after examining it.
Take care,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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