BACKGROUND: Arthroscopic dorsal wrist ganglionectomy is an established alternative to open excision in the adult population. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively compare outcomes of arthroscopic and open dorsal wrist ganglionectomy in the pediatric population. METHODS: All patients who underwent arthroscopic or open dorsal wrist ganglionectomy at a single pediatric institution between 2011 and 2014 were retrospectively evaluated by chart review and telephone interview. The primary outcome variable was whether or not the cyst had recurred. Other outcome measures included the incidence of complications, and patient-rated outcome measures such as satisfaction, pain, function, and aesthetics. RESULTS: There were eight cases of arthroscopic and 19 cases of open ganglionectomy, with a mean age of 14 years. At an average follow-up of 2 years, the recurrence rate was one of eight for the arthroscopic group and two of 19 for the open group. No patients in the arthroscopic group reported functional limitations, compared with three patients in the open group. On a 10-point scar appearance scale, with 1 being not satisfied at all and 10 being highly satisfied, the median score in the arthroscopic group was 9.5, compared with 8 in the open group. No patients in the arthroscopic group had residual pain at the surgical site, compared with nine patients in the open group, a finding that was statistically significant. All patients in the arthroscopic group reported that they would undergo surgery again, whereas two patients in the open group would not undergo surgery again. CONCLUSION: Arthroscopic dorsal wrist ganglionectomy compares favorably with open ganglionectomy in the pediatric population.
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