Digital Mucous Cysts

Digital Mucous Cyst (Digital Myxoid Cyst)

A digital mucous cyst — or myxoid cyst — is a small, fluid-filled sac that forms on the back of the finger near the base of the fingernail. It is a form of ganglion cyst that erupts from the capsule of the joint at the end of the finger, called the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint or in the proximal nail fold.

What You Need To Know About Digital Mucous Cysts

What Is A Digital Mucous Cyst?

Digital mucous cysts are small, fluid-filled sacs that usually appear near a joint on the fingers. They are generally not painful or harmful, but they can sometimes indicate joint inflammation or an underlying condition, such as osteoarthritis.

They are sometimes referred to as pseudocysts, because they are not surrounded by a capsule, which is present in a true cyst. These benign cysts are attached to the joint capsule by a "stalk" that allows fluid to move into the cyst from the joint.

Myxoid cyst are found in a wide range of ages, from teenagers to the elderly but are most likely to occur during the 7th decade. A mucous cyst most commonly affects the index finger of the dominant hand.

Getting digital mucous cyst treatment starts with a visit to the Resurgens Hand & Wrist Center. Schedule an appointment at one of our Metro Atlanta locations today!

What Causes A Digital Mucous Cyst?

Digital mucous cysts are caused by degradation of the synovial tissue at the DIP joint of the finger. It is believed that a weakness in the capsule leads to the formation of the cyst. Although a myxoid cyst usually develops slowly, they can appear quite rapidly as well. Less commonly, repetitive motion or trauma to the finger may contribute to mucous cyst formation.

Digital Mucous Cyst Symptoms

Digital mucous cysts present as painless, pearl-like lumps found near the distal joints. They typically appear smooth or shiny with an almost translucent appearance and an average size of 5-8 mm (roughly the size of a pencil eraser).

A ruptured myxoid cyst may extrude a jelly-like substance. A ruptured cyst can become infected, resulting in swelling, redness, and pain. Any sign of infection requires prompt medical attention.

How is a Digital Mucous Cyst Diagnosed?

In order to positively diagnose a mucous cyst, your Resurgens physician will perform a thorough physical exam and order x-rays, which are used to assess the condition of the joint and the severity of any underlying arthritis or synovitis. In many cases, bone spurs have formed on the top of the joint near the cyst. Your doctor will also assess any related conditions.

Digital Mucous Cyst Treatment

Many mucous cysts do not require treatment and may resolve on their own. Smaller cysts may be treated with needle aspiration and steroid medication, while larger cysts may require surgical excision. Our digital mucous cyst treatment options include:

Non-Surgical Myxoid Cyst Treatment

If a mucous cyst does not resolve on its own, your doctor may recommend cryotherapy, CO2 ablative laser, or repeated sterile drainings.

Surgical Myxoid Cyst Treatment

For a myxoid cyst that is larger or more troublesome, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery cuts the mucous cyst away and covers the area with a skin flap that closes as it heals. The joint involved is sometimes scraped and any osteophytes (bony outgrowths from the joint cartilage) are removed.

If you're experiencing myxoid cyst symptoms, then contact Resurgens Hand & Wrist Center today! As Georgia's largest — and most trusted — orthopedic specialists we can help you find relief.

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