What Are Retinacular Cysts?

Retinacular cysts are a type of small ganglion cyst found on the palm or base of the finger, the size of a BB.  It arises from the retinaculum or tendon sheath of the finger.  They are firm, and often quite tender, especially with gripping. They can be associated with an underlying tendonitis or trigger finger.  These cysts are benign and easily treated when painful.

How Are Retinacular Cysts Treated?

As retinacular cysts are benign, observation is warranted if non-painful.  Painful retinacular cysts may be treated via aspiration or rupture performed in the office using a small needle and local anethestic. This is often successful. Cysts that do not resolve with aspiration or that recur may be surgically removed during a quick outpatient procedure where the cyst and small square of tendon sheath are removed. This can be done under local anesthetic or a light sedation.  Light activity is recommended until the sutures are removed around one week.  Recurrence after surgical excision is rare.