Ganglion cysts are the most common soft tissue tumors of the hand and wrist. There is currently no data available for the recurrence or complication rate of patients that self treat ganglion cysts by using an extrinsic force. Despite this absence of evidence, patients are still using this mode of treatment.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of blunt force as a treatment modality for disrupting ganglion cysts.
We analyzed videos of patients attempting to disrupt their ganglion cysts of the wrist by blunt force on Youtube.com and surveyed them anonymously. Candidates were contacted through YouTube’s email server and given a link to an online questionnaire.
Two hundred fourteen individuals were reviewed with a total of 1,008,913 views. Eighty three percent of videos were effective in treating the cyst. All 38 individuals that responded to the survey reported that the blunt force was effective in immediate elimination of the cyst in an average of 1.6 attempts (range 1–5). A majority (N = 21, 55%) reported no recurrence since the initial disruption of the cyst at a follow-up of 24 months.
YouTube.com was found to be an effective outlet to study a treatment modality that would otherwise be limited by practical considerations. The study showed that a subset of patients is utilizing blunt force trauma to successfully treat wrist ganglion cysts.
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Conflict of Interest
Nikunj N. Trivedi, BS, Joseph J. Schreiber, MD, and Aaron Daluiski, MD, have declared that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5).
Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.
Required Author Forms
Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the online version of this article.
Level of Evidence: Level IV case series
Work was performed at Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.
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Trivedi, N.N., Schreiber, J.J. & Daluiski, A. Blunt Force May be an Effective Treatment for Ganglion Cysts. HSS Jrnl 12, 100–104 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-016-9493-9
- wrist ganglion
- ganglion cyst