Medical Q&As

Bone cyst - explain?

I recently fractured my left little finger. The X-ray revealed that the bone had in fact been weakened due to the presence of a cyst in the bone. The cyst is approximately half the size of the third phalanx. The fracture is at the base of the third phalanx near the knuckle. I would be grateful if you could provide me with information concerning these types of cysts?

Solitary bone cysts occur mostly in long bones such as the humerus or upper arm bone. They also occur occasionally in the small bones of the hand. They cause no symptoms and often come to light when a fracture occurs in the bone and an X-ray reveals their presence. The cyst weakens the structure of the bone and renders it more liable to fracture. Small uncomplicated cysts that do not involve fracture do not require treatment. Large bone cysts need to be curetted and the space packed with a graft of bone chips. If a fracture occurs through a bone cyst the treatment will depend on the location of the fracture and the degree of displacement of the bone fragments. In the case of a phalanx or finger bone the fracture may simply require splinting to support the bone as it heals. In the case of fracture in a larger bone it may be necessary to insert a metal plate or screws. In that particular scenario it may also be necessary to perform a bone graft.