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Ganglion Cyst Main

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Other Names

  • Note: Not to be confused with anatomic term ganglion


  • Locations
  • Types
    • Intramuscular
    • Intrameniscal
    • Intratendinous
    • Intraosseus


  • Etiology is not entirely clear
  • Proposed pathophysiology
    • Myxoid degeneration of connective tissue in joint capsules, tendon sheaths[1]
    • Typically remain attached to their anatomic origins
  • Causes
    • Degenerative
    • Trauma
    • Sports
    • Post surgical
  • Histology
    • Thin connective tissue without a synovial lining
    • Filled with gelatinous fluid rich in hyaluronic acid, mucopolysaccharides, glucosamine, globulins, and albumen[2]

Risk Factors

Differential Diagnosis

Clinical Features


  • Radiographs[3]
    • Not necessary in diagnosis, may exclude other etiology
  • Ultrasound
    • Well defined margins on ultrasound, internal septations, acoustic enhancement
    • Can help differentiate from aneurysm
    • Useful for procedural aspiration
  • MRI
    • Not routinely required to make diagnosis
    • May or may not be loculated
    • Adjcent to tendon sheath or joint


  • Osseus
    • Within bone
    • Adjacent to bone
    • Away from bone
  • Joint
    • Within joint
    • Adjacent to joint
  • Structure
    • Within a nerve


Return to Play


See Also


  1. Nicholson LT, Freedman HL. Intramuscular dissection of a large ganglion cyst into the gastrocnemius muscle. Orthopedics. 35 (7): e1122-4. doi:10.3928/01477447-20120621-36 - Pubmed
  2. eaman FD, Peterson JJ. MR imaging of cysts, ganglia, and bursae about the knee. Radiol. Clin. North Am. 2007;45 (6): 969-82, vi. doi:10.1016/j.rcl.2007.08.005 - Pubmed citation
  3. https://radiopaedia.org/articles/ganglion-cyst?lang=us
Created by:
John Kiel on 3 November 2019 22:58:58
Last edited:
2 December 2023 16:38:28