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Women's Health

Painful lump on my wrist



I have a golf ball sized, painful lump on my wrist. It is very painful and tender to the touch. It feels like it has liquid in side of it. it started out a small lump and it was flesh colored. What could it be?


Without actually looking at the lump, the most common ones are “ganglion cysts.” These cysts normally occur in the wrist area and are due to a small leak in the sheath that covers a tendon – as a result, a jelly-like substance oozes out into the skin. These are often “benign” growths, but with the size you are describing, most often are best taken care of, either by inserting a needle into the area and drawing out the fluid, replacing it with a steroid to keep it from returning, or actually having it cut out. (note: in the olden days the large family Bible was used to smack it once to make it dissolve; we don’t recommend that method any more).

There are other causes, including abscesses. Considering the size and pain, I would recommend you have it looked at by your family physician so that he/she can provide treatment for you.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University