Lumps and Bumps around the Hand and Wrist

Lumps and bumps may present anywhere in the hand and wrist. The vast majority entirely harmless. Many of these lumps are referred to as tumours – a word which many people associate with cancer. The word itself is derived from the latin word meaning swelling or protuberance, and the word itself does not imply any cancerous growth.

What type of lumps and bumps do you get around the hand and wrist?
There are many types of lesion that present around the hand and wrist. Below are a selection of the common ones we see in Fife (by no means is this an exhaustive list). Click on the picture for more information.

Wrist Ganglion
Mucous Cyst
Epidermoid cyst
Glomus Tumours
Rheumatoid Nodules
Pyogenic Granuloma
Giant Cell Tumour
Dupuytren’s Nodules
Carpal Boss

What is the natural history?
For many lumps and bumps, they will slowly enlarge and become more of a nuisance.

Are there any tests that may be performed?
Most lesions around the hand and wrist can be diagnosed clinically without the need for investigation. However, in some select cases, scans such as X-rays, ultrasound and MRI may be performed. If the diagnosis is uncertain, then a biopsy may be recommended.

What are the treatment options?
For many lumps and bumps around the hand and wrist, they can be left alone in the knowledge that it may slowly grow larger and interfere with function. Surgical options include removal/excision. This is usually performed under local anaesthesia.

Can you get cancer of the hand or wrist?
Often when a lump appears anywhere in the body, the concern is that this might be a cancerous lump. Fortunately, cancer in the hand and wrist is extremely rare. The most common types of cancers that originate in the hand are skin cancers such as, basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma. Other cancers are even more rare but include sarcomas of the soft tissue or bone. These represent less than 1% of all cancers in adults. It is also possible, again rare, that cancer may spread from other organs, such as the lung or the breast to the hand and wrist.

Ultimately, if you have a rapidly growing lump that is becoming more painful, it is important that you see a doctor in order to determine the best course of action.

© Fife Hand Service 2021

%d bloggers like this: