MUCOID CYST OF THE FINGER


Mucoid cysts are associated with degenerative osteoarthritic joint disease and are almost exclusively seen in the last joint of the finger on the nail side. It is more common in females. The cyst forms a swelling on the back of the finger closely associated to the nail and sometimes creates a little ridge in the nail. Mucoid cysts tend to be progressive and sometimes two are found on either side of the finger. These cysts are conceptually very similar to gangli and, per definition, associated with degenerative joint disease where osteophytes (bony protrusions) from the joint are formed. Mucoid cysts tend to develop in the earlier phase of osteoarthritis. These cysts should not be confused with Heberden’s nodes, which are also associated with osteoarthritis, but have a more bone-like core.

Mucoid cysts are unpleasant to the eye for some, painful for others and may even go unnoticed. It is important to understand that the mucoid cysts are in direct communication with the joint. It is therefore advised NOT to prick and aspirate these (as opposed to ganglia). Superficial trauma and penetrating wounds can very easily create a joint infection, which can cause significant damage.

There is very little to do non-surgically for these cysts. The surgery focuses on addressing the osteophytes and debridement of the joint, as well as excision of the cyst. The skin on the back of the hand is not very accommodating and is very closely adhered to the bone and nail structures. Therefore, an important part of the surgery is to get good skin coverage (closure) after excising the lesion. Local rotational or transpositional flaps can be utilised for good skin coverage. There is a higher recurrence rate of mucoid cysts post surgery than wrist ganglia.

Post surgery, the wound is kept closed for 10-14 days. Once the sutures have been removed and the wound has healed, movement of the tip of the finger can begin.


MUCOID CYST OF THE FINGER


Mucoid cysts are associated with degenerative osteoarthritic joint disease and are almost exclusively seen in the last joint of the finger on the nail side. It is more common in females. The cyst forms a swelling on the back of the finger closely associated to the nail and sometimes creates a little ridge in the nail. Mucoid cysts tend to be progressive and sometimes two are found on either side of the finger. These cysts are conceptually very similar to gangli and, per definition, associated with degenerative joint disease where osteophytes (bony protrusions) from the joint are formed. Mucoid cysts tend to develop in the earlier phase of osteoarthritis. These cysts should not be confused with Heberden’s nodes, which are also associated with osteoarthritis, but have a more bone-like core.

Mucoid cysts are unpleasant to the eye for some, painful for others and may even go unnoticed. It is important to understand that the mucoid cysts are in direct communication with the joint. It is therefore advised NOT to prick and aspirate these (as opposed to ganglia). Superficial trauma and penetrating wounds can very easily create a joint infection, which can cause significant damage.

There is very little to do non-surgically for these cysts. The surgery focuses on addressing the osteophytes and debridement of the joint, as well as excision of the cyst. The skin on the back of the hand is not very accommodating and is very closely adhered to the bone and nail structures. Therefore, an important part of the surgery is to get good skin coverage (closure) after excising the lesion. Local rotational or transpositional flaps can be utilised for good skin coverage. There is a higher recurrence rate of mucoid cysts post surgery than wrist ganglia.

Post surgery, the wound is kept closed for 10-14 days. Once the sutures have been removed and the wound has healed, movement of the tip of the finger can begin.


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