Mucoid Cysts

What is a mucoid cyst?

Mucoid cysts of the finger are thin sacs on the finger that contain clear fluid. They are usually shiny and smooth in appearance and bluish-pink in colour. These cysts vary in size but are approximately 5-8 millimetres wide.

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 mucoid cyst forms a swelling on the back of the finger closely associated with 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 ganglion cysts and, per definition, are associated with a degenerative joint disease where osteophytes (bony protrusions) from the joint are formed. Mucoid cysts tend to develop in the earlier phase of hand osteoarthritis. These mucoid cysts should not be confused with Heberden’s nodes, which are also associated with hand osteoarthritis but have a more bone-like core.

What are the related mucoid cyst symptoms?

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.

Seek immediate medical attention if the mucoid cyst becomes painful with associated hand dysfunction, has recurrent drainage, or seems to be at risk of rupturing.

How are mucoid cysts treated?

There is very little to do non-surgically for mucoid cysts. The surgery focuses on addressing the osteophytes and debridement of the joint, as well as excision of the mucoid 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. The hand surgeon may use local rotational or transpositional flaps for good skin coverage. There is a higher recurrence rate of mucoid cysts post-finger surgery than wrist ganglia.

Post-finger 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.


1How does a mucoid cyst occur?
A mucoid cyst arises from degenerative synovial tissue that engulfs the finger or toe.
2Is a mucoid cyst on the finger cancerous?
A mucoid cyst is classified as a benign growth and does not represent a malignant tumour.
3What is a mucoid cyst filled with?
A mucoid cyst contains a jelly-like fluid which is made up of hyaluronic acid.

Please read the above text for more in-depth information to help answer these questions. It's important to consult with our qualified healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific situation.

Mucoid Cysts

Mucoid Cysts