Blunt Force May be an Effective Treatment for Ganglion Cysts

Abstract

Background

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.

Questions/Purposes

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of blunt force as a treatment modality for disrupting ganglion cysts.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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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Correspondence to Aaron Daluiski MD.

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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.

Human/Animal Rights

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

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the online version of this article.

Additional information

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

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Keywords

  • cyst
  • ganglion
  • wrist ganglion
  • ganglion cyst
  • video