Lumps on Hands and Fingers

We put our hands through a lot; you probably don’t think twice about using your hands all day, every day, so lumps and bumps on the fingers, wrist, and hand are bound to appear from time to time.

A multitude of causes can produce lumps, nodules, tumors, and cysts on the hand and wrist. They aren’t generally cancerous, although they may be annoying. Because they are in such an exposed part of the body, they may be unattractive and make you feel self-conscious.

While many lumps and bumps are harmless, others can indicate serious medical problems. So read on to see why you shouldn’t take the incredible powers of hands and wrists and all they allow you to do for granted?

Symptoms of Lumps on Hands and Fingers

Symptoms of lumps on hands and fingers depend on the aetiologies. However, most of the common causes usually present with the following

  • muscle weakness
  • tingling
  • numbness
  • pain
  • difficulty moving the wrist
  • tenderness
  • Swelling of the hand
  • flushed skin around the area
  • a benign round lump under the skin
  • pain in the joints
  • signs of inflammation
  • Joint stiffness


Diagnosis of Lumps on Hands and Fingers

To establish if you have any nerve impairment, your doctor will check your sensitivity and motor strength. The color of your hands and fingers, as well as your pulse, will be used to assess your blood flow (if they are pale or bluish, you may have impaired blood flow).

You may require an imaging test. Most of the time, an X-ray can tell you if your growth is fluid-filled or made of bone, cartilage, or soft tissue. Bone scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations are frequently performed to visualize these sorts of malignancies if additional imaging is required.

You may need a biopsy of your tumor if there is any worry regarding malignancy (cancerous development). If the tumor is fluid-filled, a biopsy requires a surgical sample or a needle aspiration. The sample is inspected under a microscope to understand better its pathological features, which may help determine if the tumor is benign or malignant and what sort of tumor it is.

Your doctor might also order blood tests to diagnose diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Possible Causes

Lumps on your wrist or hand aren’t always dangerous. A node might be a symptom of a disease that requires immediate medical care in rare circumstances. We’ll delve a little deeper into the aetiologies of these lumps down below.

Ganglion Cysts

A ganglion cyst is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that develops around joints and tendons. They are usually round or oval and develop on the back of the wrist or the hand. Soft tissue swellings occur around the wrist or at the base of the fingers.

Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled cysts that develop out of the tissues surrounding a joint or tendon sheaths. They can emerge and go fast, as well as alter in size.

Degenerative changes in the joint capsule cause the development of cysts at these joints. Overusing these joints and causing injury to them puts you at a higher risk.

The majority of ganglion cysts are painless, and they aren’t something to be worried about. However, if they impinge on a nerve, you may suffer pain, numbness, or muscular weakness in the affected location. It would be best if you attempted to keep the amount of tension on your wrist to a minimum since overuse of your wrist might cause the cyst to grow larger.

Dupuytren’s contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as Dupuytren’s disease, occurs when nodules develop in the palm side and fingers, causing the fingers to bend towards the palm, resulting in a permanent flexion contracture.

Dupuytren’s contracture is a slow-growing, typically painless disease. Dupuytren’s contracture patients often have trouble placing their hands in their pockets or wearing gloves. In extreme cases of finger contracture, hand hygiene might become an issue.

Bouchard’s nodes

Bouchard’s node is a symptom of osteoarthritis, which is a type of degenerative joint disease. The proximal interphalangeal finger joint is afflicted by the node and presents as a swelling.

Bouchard nodes are found in both males and females of all ethnicities, and they are more prevalent in the elderly.

Osteoarthritis affects the fingers and the hands, knees, hips, and spine, causing discomfort, pain, and stiffness.

Heberden’s nodes

A bony growth of the distal interphalangeal finger joint is known as a Heberden node. It’s a symptom of osteoarthritis, which is a type of degenerative joint disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis

The autoimmune illness rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes your immune system to assault your joints. Inflammation, tissue damage, and abnormalities are all possible outcomes.

Rheumatoid nodules affect around 25% of patients with RA. These are bumps that form beneath the surface of your skin. They are round or linear in shape and firm to the touch but not tender.

Rheumatoid nodules typically form around joints that are subjected to repetitive strain or stress. They can affect a variety of body parts, including the forearm and fingers.


When the cartilage that cushions your joints begins to break away, osteoarthritis develops. This might result in joint discomfort and edema.

You may see tiny, bony lumps or knobs on the joints or tendons of your fingers if you have arthritis in your hands. Stiffness, edema, and discomfort may accompany this.

Carpal boss

A carpal boss, also known as a carpometacarpal boss, is an overgrowth of the carpal bones that make up the wrist. A hard bump forms on the back of the wrist as a result of the overgrowth.

Although medical specialists are unsure what causes a carpal boss, it is caused by direct trauma or repetitive wrist motions, such as those required when playing racquet sports.

A hard lump at the rear of the wrist is the most common sign of a carpal boss. The vast majority of people show no additional symptoms. On the other hand, others may feel pain while moving their wrists or when the lump gets sensitive.

Trigger Finger

The flexor tendons of your hand get inflamed as a result of the trigger finger. When this happens, your finger’s tendon on the palm side might trap on the tendon sheath, making it difficult to move the afflicted finger.

A tiny bump might sometimes develop at the base of the afflicted finger. The existence of this bulge might cause more tendon trapping, leading your finger to become caught in the bent position.


Gout is an arthritic condition in which crystals build up in the joints. This can cause swelling, redness, and discomfort. Although gout can affect the wrist and fingers, the joints of the foot are one of its common locations.

When your body produces too much or doesn’t get rid of a substance called uric acid, gout crystals develop. Gout crystals can sometimes form tophi, lumps under the skin that are white in hue and don’t hurt.

Tumour on the hand

A tumour is defined as any abnormal bulge or hump. The term “tumour” can also refer to a “mass.” The term “tumour” does not always imply that it is malignant or cancerous. The vast majority of hand tumours are benign (noncancerous).

Any bulge or bump in your hand, regardless of its source, is a tumour. Hand tumours can develop on the skin’s surface, such as a mole or a wart, or beneath the skin, in the soft tissue, or even the bone. Because the hand contains so many different tissue types (e.g., skin, tendon, fat, ligaments, bone, etc. ), a variety of tumours can develop.

Some tumours include:

  • Epidermal Inclusion Cyst
  • Giant Cell Tumor of the Tendon Sheath
  • Lipomas
  • Neuromas
  • Fibromas


Treatment Options

The therapy for a lump in your wrist or hand is determined by the disease that caused it. Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. The following are some examples of possible treatments:

  • OTC (over-the-counter) medicines: You may be able to alleviate pain and inflammation using over-the-counter medication.
  • Prescription Medications: Drugs such as oral or injectable corticosteroids, as well as specialty medications, may be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Immobilization: You can immobilize your wrist or hand using a splint or brace.
  • Aspiration: The fluid from the cyst may need to be drained using a needle in rare situations. For ganglion cysts and epidermal inclusions, this can be done.
  • Physical therapy: This is a type of treatment that involves workouts to enhance your range of motion and strength in your hands and wrists. Physical therapy can be especially beneficial for those with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or recuperating from surgery.
  • Surgery: Your hand surgeon may decide on removing the cyst surgically. This surgical treatment can treat several diseases, including ganglion cysts, foreign bodies, and other cysts or tumors.
  • Cancer treatment: Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most frequent treatments for malignant tumors.


Risk Factors

Anything that enhances a person’s risk of developing a tumor is a tumor risk factor. Below are the common types of risk factors

  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Alcohol


When to see a doctor

It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor if you discover a lump on your wrist or hand. They can assess the swelling and assist you in receiving any necessary therapy.

If you see a lump that has grown fast, is painful, or has symptoms like numbness, tingling, or muscular weakness, or appears infectious, or is in an easily inflamed area, get medical advice right away.


Should I be worried about a lump on my hand?

Lumps on your hand or wrist aren’t usually a reason for concern. They may, however, be a symptom of a more severe illness in rare circumstances.

If you discover a lump growing fast, painful, or accompanied by other symptoms like numbness or tingling, you should see your doctor.

Do cysts on hand go away?

Cysts frequently disappear on their own. If your cyst is causing you issues, your doctor may recommend using a needle to empty the cyst.

Can a lump on your hand be cancerous?

Most types of tumors of the hand or wrist are less frequent, although they can be malignant. If your doctor detects a malignant tumor on your hand or wrist, imaging investigations will be required to provide a detailed image of the growth. A biopsy can reveal the tumor’s microscopic characteristics.

Not sure if cysts removal is for you? Speak to our hand team at +65 6733 9093. Or book an appointment with our hand specialists for a consultation on your treatment options.