What do bumps on finger joints mean?


Quick Answer

Bumps that appear on finger joints may be bone deformities such as Heberden's nodes or Bouchard's nodes. They may also be ganglion cysts also known as mucous cysts.

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Full Answer

Heberden's nodes are bony bumps on the joint, closer to the end of the finger. Bouchard's nodes are bony bumps on the middle joint of the finger. They are formed by calcification of the joints. Typically these nodes are signs of osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis.

A ganglion cyst is usually a tumor or swelling on top of the joint. These cysts appear as a mass that can change in size. Cysts maybe soft or hard and are full of a soft, yellowish substance known as keratin. While these cysts have no real symptoms aside from their appearance, if they happen to sit on a nerve through the joint it can result in pain, tingling and muscle weakness. Ganglion cysts can disappear over time but those that do not may worsen and grow larger, explains The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

If aspiration, the draining of the fluid does not help, surgical methods may need to be taken. This type of surgery is called excision and it involves removing the cysts as well as the joint capsule or tendon sheath which is considered the root of the cyst.

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