What are the complications of digital mucous cysts (DMCs)?

Updated: Jul 31, 2018
  • Author: Murad Alam, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Digital mucous cysts (DMCs) have a high incidence of recurrence after treatment, typically occurring within 3 months of treatment. Sclerotherapy can result in extravasation of the sclerosant into the joint space. Short freeze-thaw cycles should predominate when cryotherapy is applied to avoid possible scarring of the nail matrix. Local depigmentation has been reported after steroid injection with triamcinolone.

Surgical interventions, while possibly slightly more effective in preventing recurrence, have many associated complications. Radial or ulnar deviation of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint with resulting impairment in joint motion can occur. While some nail deformities may be corrected by surgery, residual nail deformities may persist or be created de novo. Other complications include tendon injury, superficial infection, DIP septic arthritis, increased arthritic symptoms in the joint, and persistent swelling, pain, numbness, and stiffness.

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