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How are arthritis-related finger cysts treated?

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Doctors may treat milder cases of arthritis-related finger cysts with a wrist brace, while more severe cases may call for aspiration or surgery, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Mild cases that do not cause pain may only require observation for potential changes to the condition.

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Arthritis-related finger cysts are also known as mucous cysts, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A wrist brace or splint may be helpful for treating growing mucous cysts that create painful pressure on the nerves. The brace may ease the pain and reduce the size of the cysts. Doctors may also recommend exercises that improve the strength and flexibility of the wrist.

Aspiration involves draining fluid from a mucous cyst with a needle, and this method is most suitable for cysts that are situated on the top of the wrist, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Doctors may perform an aspiration procedure if the cyst causes significant pain or difficulty for the patient. However, aspiration is usually not effective in the long run, as the cyst often returns.

Persistent cases of mucous cysts may require surgical excision. The surgery removes the cyst and part of the joint capsule or tendon sheath that forms the root of the cyst. The patient may experience some swelling and tenderness in the area after surgery but can generally resume regular activities within a few weeks, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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