Treatment of Mucous Cyst of the Distal Interphalangeal Joint With Osteophyte Excision and Joint Debridement

Zhiyi Fan, Li Chang, Xing Su, Binbin Yang, Zhe Zhu
Frontiers in Surgery 2021, 8: 767098

Background: Mucous cyst of the distal interphalangeal joint (DMC) or interphalangeal connection of the thumb is common in middle-aged and elderly people, and it often occurs in the fingers of people with osteoarthritis (OA). Although there are many conservative treatments, DMC is usually treated by surgery. The common complications of surgical treatment are recurrence of DMC and skin necrosis. This article introduces the method and clinical effect of osteophyte excision and joint debridement in the treatment of DMC of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint.

Methods: In total, 19 cases of affected fingers made an 'S' incision in the DIP joint under local anesthesia to remove the osteophyte of the DIP joint, clean the dorsal joint capsule, wash the joint, and retain only the bilateral collateral ligament and extensor tendon device. It is suspected that the injured finger of the extensor tendon should be protected by external fixation.

Results: Out of 15 patients, 1 patient presented with partial skin necrosis that healed after dressing changes while the other patients recovered well. The visual analog scale (VAS) scores of all affected fingers after surgery were lower than those before the surgery (VAS score: 4.93 ± 0.88 vs. 4.07 ± 1.03, p < 0.05). The range of motion (ROM) of the affected finger decreased in one patient, and the post-operative activity of the other fingers increased in varying degrees (ROM: 67.60 ± 5.40 vs. 71.27 ± 7.06, p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Using osteophyte excision and joint debridement to treat DMC can avoid skin necrosis caused by cyst removal and can avoid the recurrence of DMC to the greatest extent, so it is a safe and effective way of treatment.

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