Ganglion cysts often develop around the wrist and hand. They may be associated with underlying joints or ligaments. On exam, a small light may be utilized to determine if the mass transilluminates. Ganglions are filled with fluid allowing for the transmission of light through the cyst. These cysts may sometimes be associated with discomfort. Occasionally, advanced imaging such as ultrasound may be utilized to further characterize the mass. Imaging decisions should be discussed with your treating physician. Clinical treatments include observation and aspiration. With aspiration, there is often viscous jelly-like fluid expressed from the cyst. Despite aspiration, recurrence of the cyst frequently occurs. Surgical treatment options include excision of the mass. Please note that there are other masses that may occur in the wrist and hand. Evaluation and treatment options regarding your mass should be discussed in detail with your treating physician. Occasionally, ganglion cysts may occur at the most distal joint of the fingers. They are often referred to as mucous cysts in this location. These mucous cysts are often associated with underlying arthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint of the fingers or the interphalangeal joint of the thumb. They may grow large enough to cause the overlying skin to become attenuated and may even rupture. When large, your treating physician may discuss excision of the cyst and debridement of any associated osteophytes (bone spurs) underlying the cyst. I have a cyst in my fingernail. Sometimes jelly-like fluid comes out near my fingernail.
Outcomes after Hand Surgery vary and risks and benefits should be discussed in detail with your treating physician. Non-operative treatment also carries risks and benefits which should be discussed with your treating physician.
Disclaimer: Evaluation and treatment of masses involves complex decision-making. There are many different growths that may develop in the hands and fingers. These should be evaluated by your treating physician. This information is not intended to covey, substitute or supplant any medical advice. In order to establish a treating relationship, please schedule and complete your visits with a licensed physician.
Copyright 12/9/2021 Tanay Amin, MD
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