In fact, the study may have brought to light new information about recurrence. It was always thought that the ganglion comes back when the stalk of the cyst isn't fully removed. But when open surgery was compared with an arthroscopic approach, there was no difference in recurrence rates.
In the study, the cyst was removed down to the base of the stalk during open surgery. The cyst and stalk were removed during the arthroscopic procedure. These results lead surgeons to think perhaps the real cause of ganglion recurrence is multifactorial.
More study is needed to understand why there is such a wide range (2 to 40 per cent) of ganglion recurrence after surgical removal. At this point, it doesn't look likely that the surgical approach (open versus closed) is a factor.