When fluid in the finger joints escapes through a small hole, it can develop into a mucous cyst. This type of cyst usually develops in patients with osteoarthritis where the cyst is connected to the joint.
What is a Mucous Cyst?
A mucous cyst usually develops on the finger joint near the nail and can cause a small groove to form right in the nail. It often develops in patients with osteoarthritis because the weakened joint lining allows the cyst to form. While these cysts are not painful, they may need treatment if there is recurrent drainage or if the nails are becoming deformed because of the cyst’s development. Trying to remove the cyst without medical help is not recommended because the cyst will like return and attempting to remove it could cause more damage.
Mucous cysts are easy to identify and may change in appearance over time. Since their appearance is so closely related to that of a ganglion cyst, getting a medical evaluation can determine the nature of the cyst and detect signs of an underlying disease. Dr. Kilaru may need to take X-rays of the finger to determine whether degeneration of the bone has created bone spurs.
Treatment for a Mucous Cyst
Treatment for a mucous cyst on the finger usually isn’t necessary unless the patient is experiencing pain, discomfort, and ongoing drainage that is interfering with day to day life. Aspiration and other techniques that remove the cyst are not always effective if the joint spur is the cause. Surgical treatment is needed to remove the bone spur which, in turn, stops the development of the cyst.
Dr. Kilaru can perform surgical reconstruction with surgical removal of the cyst at his practice. This involves trimming down and smoothing any bone spurs so the tissue around the joint can heal. If the cyst is attached to the skin, Dr. Kilaru can remove the cyst and perform a skin graft. This is a fairly straightforward outpatient procedure.
What to Expect with Treatment for a Mucous Cyst
If mucous cyst removal surgery is performed, you will need to wear a splint at the end of the finger to support the healing process. You will work with a hand therapist for about two weeks after surgery to help restore range of motion and might experience some soreness in the finger when pinching or grasping objects. Sutures are usually removed about 10 days after surgery and you will have full use of your hands and fingers in about two to three weeks post-procedure. Dr. Kilaru will provide detailed information about activities you can engage in and when the splint can be removed.
If you think you have a mucous cyst or want to learn more about treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kilaru today.