Most ganglions cause a bump or mass on the wrist. The mass may appear suddenly, or it may develop over time. The ganglion may occasionally increase or decrease in size.
The wrist may ache or feel tender. The ganglion may also interfere with activities. A volar wrist ganglion may compress the median or ulnar nerve, causing trouble with sensation and movement. An occult dorsal wrist ganglion may be quite painful and tender, even though it is smaller than other ganglions. Typically the symptoms from a ganglion are not harmful and do not grow worse. These cysts will not turn into cancer.