FINGER CYSTS (MUCOUS CYSTS)
October 24, 2019
Paul Nielsen, MD
What Are the Symptoms of a Mucous Cyst?
- Swelling or a mass on the backside of the finger next to the end knuckle
- Often painful when the area is touched
- Redness or even drainage can occur if the skin becomes thin
- Drainage can lead to an infection and more serious problems
- The nail can develop a ridge if the cyst becomes large enough
What Causes a Mucous Cyst?
- A hole develops in the joint lining of the knuckle and fluid escapes
- Often a small bone spur causes this hole
- Your body tries to wall off the fluid and forms the cyst
- Thick, sticky, clearish-yellow fluid normally fills the cyst
What Are the Treatment Options for a Mucous Cyst?
- Observation is always an option if the cyst is not bothersome and not draining
- Aspiration, popping it, or a punch biopsy are not a good treatment option
- These can create to a draining wound into the joint that gets infected, requiring a much more extensive surgery and worse outcome
- Removal of the cyst with a small procedure involves cleaning out the hole in the joint lining and removing the bone spur that caused it
- The procedure is usually performed with just local anesthesia in about 10 minutes
- No IV, no fasting, and no recovery from anesthesia medicines
What Is Recovery Like After Surgery?
- Patients normally are in a soft dressing for a few days after surgery
- Sutures are removed 10-14 days after surgery
- Light use of the hand is encouraged immediately after surgery
- Heavy use of the and is allowed about two weeks after surgery
- Hand therapy is usually not required
Bothered by a mass on your finger? Please call New West at 308-865-2570 to make an appointment with Dr. Nielsen today. No referral required.
About the Author
Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand & upper extremity surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, NE.