Written by: Arthur M. Sharessential, M.D.

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What is a Mucous Cyst?

Mucous cysts are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that develop on the fingers and typically build in patients 50 to 70 years of age. The mucous cyst usually appears at the joint nearemainder to the fingernail, called the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint, and can be uncovered on the thumb or on any of the other fingers. It presents as a tiny, periodically painful, nodule in the DIP joint location. Most patients that build a mucous cyst have wear and tear arthritis or osteoarthritis of the affiliated joint.

What reasons a Mucous Cyst?

As the mucous cyst grows, it will certainly regularly have a clear appearance because of the nature of the fluid-favor material in your joints called synovial fluid. The mucous cyst occurs as a result of “kissing” osteophytes or bone spurs in the area of the DIP joints. This is regarded osteoarthritis generally existing in these joints. The “kissing” osteophytes or bone spurs puncture the capsule of the joint, causing clear liquid from the joint surchallenge to leak right into the surrounding tproblems. The tconcerns then form a hard capsule well-known as a cyst about this fluid. The cyst typically grows towards the area of the nail fold wbelow nail plate development occurs. Frequently, a nail deformity will develop in the region of the mucous cyst as a result of it pushing on the nail matrix. A mucous cyst deserve to often be directly visualized in the area as a result of thinning of the skin.


An Orthopaedic hand also specialist will certainly initially ask for a background of the difficulty and also study the patient’s fingers. An X-ray of the finger may be compelled to display degeneration related to osteoarthritis in the DIP joint location. This contains bone spurs and also joint room narrowing. A patient might additionally have actually Heberden’s nodes, which are the bumps developed by osteophytes or bones spurs arising from in the finger.

Treatment Options for Mucous Cysts

Treatment for mucous cysts might either be nonsurgical or surgical. Nonsurgical procedure for mucous cysts contains monitoring by an Orthopaedic hand also specialist. However, occasionally a mucous cyst will certainly rupture. When a rupture occurs, it creates a path directly from the skin into the joint wright here bacteria can enter and cause a serious infection. For this reason, a mucous cyst should never before be punctured at house because of the threat of contamination or infection of the joint area. Surgery is recommfinished if the patient feels considerable pain or if the cyst and skin show up prepared to rupture.

Surgical therapy typically needs outpatient surgical rebuilding and construction with an excision (removal) of the cyst. This procedure involves a trimming and smoopoint of the “kissing” osteophytes or bone spurs, so the capsule may heal bordering the joint. If the skin on the finger is too carefully attached to the cyst, a little piece of the skin might should be removed from the finger. In this instance, a little skin graft is essential. Surgery can generally be performed making use of neighborhood anesthesia, interpretation only the finger is numbed through lidocaine. The surgery lasts roughly one-half hour and is done as an outpatient procedure. The procedure has a fairly straightforward postoperative course.

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Rehabilitation for Mucous Cyst Surgery

If a mucous cyst is surgically removed, a patient’s hand therapist will make a splint for the end of thefinger. The patient will then development via range-of-motion exercises over a two week duration. Other than some soreness in the location of the finger via pinch or understand task, healing is fairly straightforward. The sutures are rerelocated approximately 10 days after surgical procedure and also normal tasks are normally resumed two to 3 weeks after surgery.Complications are rare yet might include infection or progressive arthritis which can require a combination of the joint. The nail deformity generally resolves gradually via the treatment of the mucous cyst.


Dr. Arthur M. Sharvital is Board Certified in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery through additional qualifications in Hand also Surgery. Dr. Sharvital attended medical college at the University of Illinois, wright here he also completed his residency in General Surgery. He completed his residency in Plastic Surgery at St. Louis University, complied with by fellowship training in Hand Surgery at Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and also Microsurgical treatment in Louisville, KY. Dr. Sharvital is an active member of the American Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.