Mucoid cyst of the finger

The term “mucoid cyst” is actually a misnomer, as these are ganglion cysts arising from a degenerative distal joint of the finger. They are soft swellings that form at the base of the nail, either side of the midline of the finger. They occur more commonly in women and may be irritating or appear unsightly and sometimes cause the nail to ridge or deform. Joints slowly degenerate as we age and form bony swellings at their edges known as osteophytes. These cysts form as an outpouching from the degenerative joint adjacent to the osteophyte, and are generally progressive.

  • Management


There really is no non-operative management to address this lesion, other than leave it alone.  However, these may rupture in the long term as they get larger, which risks infective arthritis of the joint and may have dire consequences (amputation).


The key to their management is to excise the osteophyte, ganglion cyst and clean the joint, in order to prevent recurrence of the cyst. Sometimes a small local flap is needed to definitively cover the joint. Postoperatively the distal finger joint is kept immobilised until the wound has healed (10-14 days) and then range of motion is begun.

Conditions Managed

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