[Arthroscopic resection of dorsal wrist ganglion cysts]

N Borisch
Operative Orthopädie und Traumatologie 2016, 28 (4): 270-8

OBJECTIVE: Pain relief and improvement of hand function by ganglion cyst resection and/or creation of a dorsal capsular window with partial synovectomy. In the case of visible ganglion cysts consideration of aesthetic aspects.

INDICATIONS: Visible and occult persisting dorsal wrist ganglion cysts, recurrent ganglion cyst after open or arthroscopic resection and intraosseous ganglion cyst with an extraosseous portion.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Recent skin lesion of the wrist.

SURGICAL TECHNIQUE: Standard setting for wrist arthroscopy. Portals: radiocarpal 3‑4 and 6R, midcarpal radial (RMC) and midcarpal ulnar (UMC) portals. Start with arthroscopy in 3‑4 portal. If there is insufficient visualization of the dorsal capsular fold, change the arthroscope to the 6R portal. From here a tangential view onto the dorsal capsule at the level of the scapholunate (SL) ligament can be obtained. If a large ganglion overlying the 3‑4 portal or the RMC portal is present, UMC portals are primarily used. Intra-articular visualization of ganglion structures should always be attempted, especially for occult ganglion cysts. If the radiocarpal findings are inconspicuous, midcarpal arthroscopy from the UMC portal is performed to visualize the dorsal capsule at the SL ligament. Depending on the main localization of the visible alterations, ganglion or thickening of the capsule, a dorsal capsular window is created at the level of the SL ligament either radiocarpal or midcarpal or overlying both joints. Complete resection of the ganglion is controlled by palpation. Use of a 2.4 mm arthroscope with 30° angle of vision and 2.5 mm shaver (aggressive cutter). Low-suction drainage and soft padded dressing. An arthroscope with 70° angle of vision enables an even better view onto the dorsal capsule.

POSTOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT: Immediate wrist mobilization, avoidance of excessive loading for 3 weeks. Physiotherapy is necessary if wrist flexion is not regained 3  weeks postoperatively.

RESULTS: From 2007 to 2010 a total of 92 wrists from 88 patients were treated by arthroscopic ganglion cyst resection, 44 % for occult and 17 % for recurrent ganglia. At a mean follow-up of 78 % after 29.5 months a high patient satisfaction of 90 % was achieved. The only complication was a complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in one patient. The recurrence rate was 12.5 %.

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