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mucous cyst“Don’t pop that bump!”  But why?


Rupturing, puncturing or popping the mass may cause infection.


Many finger masses have a direct communication with a joint. The skin at this location is also very thin increasing the risk of infection.


So what is a mucous cyst?

A mucous cyst is a fluid filled sack, an out pocketing of the joint lining, similar to a small hernia, that is filled with joint fluid.


Where do mucous cysts live?

There are dozens of lumps and bumps in the wrist, hand and fingers. Mucous cysts involve the IP joints of the fingers (the middle and end joints).


What are the causes of these bumps?

Mucous cysts commonly occur with degenerative arthritic changes.


Why does my nail look different?

Sometimes the mass grows in a location and affects the nail bed by putting pressure on the tissue that grows new nail causing a groove in the nail or nail deformity.


What are the treatment options?

  • Observation- as long as the mass is not painful and is not at a risk for rupturing then observation is a reasonable choice.


  • Cortisone injection- calm the inflammation as well as rupturing the cyst. This has some risk of infection or additional thinning of the skin.


  • Surgical excision- Call to make an appointment with one of our hand surgeons to discuss the procedure, risks and complications for your specific mass.



Our doctors in this office try to avoid rupturing mucous cysts given the risk of infection of the joint.


Written by: Stephanie Jones, AT

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic


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