Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Why Does a Ganglion Cyst Keep Returning?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 09:23 AM

Question: My wife has had a ganglion cyst growing from the knee joint removed three times. The surgeon has scraped the knee joint bones, but the cyst grows back. How can it be kept from growing back?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

A ganglion cyst that recurs in the same location is very uncommon, and I have personally never seen this. Perhaps she had a Baker's (benign) cyst in the soft tissue in the back area of her knee that has recurred? Ganglion cysts are removed by excision, and do not usually recur when completely removed.

A possible exception may be in the case of local neurofibromatosis that may be mistaken as a local ganglion. These do tend to recur. If this lesion is attached to the bone, pathological evaluation of the tissue is advised.

The next time it is excised, have the tissue examined by a pathologist for evaluation not only of the cell type, but for clear margins that will indicate it has been removed completely.

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