Mucous Cyst

A mucous cyst is a small swelling, containing a clear jelly like material, found overlying the end joint on the back of the finger. The cyst may fluctuate in size and occasionally burst spontaneously before reforming. This condition usually affects people between 45-70 years old and is usually associated with osteoarthritis. The cyst can often be painful and can affect the appearance of the finger.  If the cyst is in close proximity to the fingernail, the nail can also be affected and grow abnormally. 

Treating a Cyst

A consultation, involving a medical history and clinical examination, is usually sufficient to make a diagnosis but an X-ray may be taken of your hand(s) to identify any osteoarthritis. Mucous cysts can just be observed, but if they cause pain or limitation to your daily activities then surgery can be performed.  If the cysts rupture, there may be a risk of infection into the joint, and surgical treatment is recommended.

Surgery removes the cyst and any underlying bony spurs from the joint, which usually prevents re-formation of the cyst and decreases pain.  After surgery you are a advised to stay off work for around 2-4 weeks dependent on your job.