Mucoid Cyst

Mucoid cysts are fluid-filled sacs that usually develop on or near the joints of the fingers, although the toes can be affected. Typically benign, they feel like firm, rubbery lumps, and are usually not painful unless they grow large enough to put pressure on nerves. Mucoid cysts are also referred to as mucous cysts, ganglion cysts, myxoid cysts, synovial cysts, periarticular fibromas and mucinous pseudocysts.

Signs of Mucoid Cysts

A mucoid cyst presents as a small raised lump that is filled with gelatinous fluid. A mucoid cyst usually develops in the proximal nail fold, which is just above the cuticle, or at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint, which is the first joint from the tip of the finger. A mucoid cyst can appear suddenly or develop over time, and may indicate osteoarthritis in the joint near which it appears.

Treatment for Mucoid Cysts

Treatment is not required for the majority of mucoid cysts. If, however, treatment is recommended, digital mucoid cysts may be:

  • Punctured, aspirated and drained
  • Injected with steroids or sclerosing alcohol
  • Scraped with a curette and then compressed
  • Surgically removed

After aspiration alone, fluid in the cyst often comes back. Surgical excision is appropriate for aesthetic reasons, or if the cyst is large enough to cause pain or to interfere with the function of the nail or hand.

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