Finger Ganglions


Ganglion cysts are small masses that appear and may grow to varying sizes. Sometimes they get larger and smaller because they are sacs filled with a jelly-like material. The sacs protrude from joints or the spaces around tendons and arise due to friction from nearby tendons. They are not tumors and cannot do harm to the patient other than producing local symptoms.


Most patients are simply uncomfortable seeing a strange mass in the body. Others complain of local pain or restriction of motion by the presence of the mass. Common locations are over the last joint in the finger or at the junction of the finger with the palm.


The size, consistency, mobility, and location of the mass are noted along with any deficits in function of nearby joints or tendons.


None are needed in advance.  If the mass is confirmed at the time of surgery to be a sac filled with joint fluid, studies show there is no value in sending the tissue to pathology.  If the mass proved to be a solid tissue tumor, it is sent to pathology to confirm the type of tumor.

ADVANTAGES No procedure for the patient to go through Mass is eliminated with very low rate of reoccurrence
DISADVANTAGES If the skin over the mass ruptures, bacteria can enter and lead to infection of the adjacent joint (very low percentage occurrence) Small scar, period of stiffness and ache in joint following surgery, patient required to care well for the area after surgery to prevent problems
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Most important is keeping wound well-covered and away from any contaminants initial 2 weeks to prevent acquiring a wound infection.  After wound healed patient practices full motion exercises of the joint daily to recover maximum motion.  Other than wound care, there are no limitations imposed on usage.  The symptoms of ache and stiffness in the joint do tend to last from weeks to several months after the procedure and then gradually diminish.   

Houston Hand and Wrist