A mucinous or myxoid cyst is a fluid filled cyst that arises from the end joint of the finger or thumb. It is nearly always associated with some arthritis within the joint.
It is a swelling over the back of the finger, close to the nail bed. It can cause distortion of the nail due to the pressure of the cyst on the nail bed. The cyst are not generally painful, but can hurt if knocked. They can appear translucent and on occasions can discharge clear jelly-like fluid if burst, injured or pricked with a needle.
What treatment is available?
The majority of mucous cysts do not need treatment. A lot will disappear of their own accord, although this can take some time. Surgery can be performed for larger, painful or discharging cysts.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually done with a local anaesthetic ring block which freezes the finger. A small incision is made over the cyst which is then removed down to it's connection to the joint. The skin is then stitched and a dressing applied. In a few cases, if the skin is very thin, then a skin graft may be required to cover the wound.
Are there any risks?
They can be surgically removed although there is a 10-15% chance of them recurring. There is a small risk of damage to the nail bed which can leave permanent ridging or a split in the nail.