A mucous cyst occurs at the distal inter-phalangeal joint – the joint at the end of the finger near the nail. They can cause appearance changes to the nail plate, get in the way during activities, or be associated with pain. A cyst that occurs in another location of the hand or wrist may be a ganglion cyst or a volar retinacular cyst.
Mucous cysts from the fingers can be excised. Before doing so, an x-ray is usually obtained to look for a bone spur (osteophyte). If present, the osteophyte is also removed, as doing so decreases the risk of recurrence (see image below).