These are outpouchings of the fluid, from the joint adjacent to the fingernail similar to a ganglion. They can fluctuate in size and if large enough can cause pain. An alternative reason for seeking advice is because the nail becomes grooved or distorted by the pressure of the cyst. They can become infected especially if they are pricked with a needle in attempt to get of them.
What causes ganglions?
It most cases it is associated with osteoarthritis and there is often a telltale sign of a bony outgrowth on the back of the joint. An X ray maybe requested to confirm the state of the joint itself.
What can be done about it?
This is done as a day case where the finger is numbed, the cyst is removed often with overlying skin, which may have become very thin and also the bony outgrowth is removed. Then a small piece of skin from that finger may be moved to cover the defect. Surgery takes about 60 minutes.
How long does it take to recover?
A bandage and sometimes a small splint is applied at the end of the procedure which limits the use of that finger but allows use of the remainder of the hand. The wound is checked at 1 week to ensure no problems and at 2 weeks, the dressings and stitches are removed. The finger may become stiff during this time and hand therapy may be required.
What can go wrong?
Surgery for cyst removal is generally very safe and the results predictable with good patient satisfaction. However no surgery is without their potential risks and these will be discussed in detail by Mr Colville at the consultation.