Hand Tumor and Lumps

Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after doctors for hand tumor and hand masses treatment in Palm Beach. Hand tumors and hand masses are typically caused by abnormal growths of cells in the tissues of the hand. Fortunately the majority of these tumors and masses are benign and not cancer. They show up as “lumps” in the hands and fingers. They typically arise from skin, fat, tendons, and blood vessels. In less common cases, they can arise from bones or cartilage.

Hand Tumor and Lumps Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms arising from hand tumors are visible palpable masses and discomfort from pinching of surrounding structures. Some of the most common symptoms include:


  • Visible lump on the hands, fingers, or wrist
  • Pain or discomfort when the lump is touched
  • Pain or discomfort when moving the joints around the lump

In some cases patients present with all of the symptoms, and in some cases only with some of them.

The diagnosis of hand mass is narrowed down using a combination of history and physical examination. A typical history and examination performed by a hand surgeon are usually enough to diagnose the condition. An xray is typically needed to rule out any underlying bony causes. Advanced imaging like MRI may be needed in some cases including large masses, and atypical locations.

WHAT CAUSES Hand Tumor and Lumps?

There are too many types of hand lumps and tumors to have a single cause. The most common lumps are mucous cysts and ganglion cysts which are through to be caused by arthritis or weakness in the joint capsule. Lumps resulting from soft tissue or bone are caused by abnormal growth of healthy or unhealthy cells.

Hand Tumor and Lumps Treatment Options

The most common cause of lumps in the hand and finger are ganglion cysts and mucous cysts. These represent benign balloon-like lumps arising from the underlying joints and filled with joint fluid. There are excellent forms of treatment to cure them including injections and surgery (See Ganglion Cyst Section).
The second most common cause of tumor in the hands are giant cell tumors arising from the tendon sheath. The tendon sheath refers to a tunnel through which tendons travel through. These tumors are benign and non-cancerous. They are called “giant cell” because the large cell size when seen on microscope. They are typically removed with surgery.
Other benign tumors in the hand include lipomas and inclusion cysts. Lipomas are non-cancerous tumors that arise from the fatty cells in the hands and fingers. Epidermal inclusion cysts are also non-cancerous tumors that arise from trapped skin cells underneath the outer skin. These tumors may be monitored if not symptomatic or removed with surgery if bothersome to the patient.
Glomus tumors are another relatively common form of hand masses. They typically do not show up as lumps but as intense pain in a pin-point location, usually in the finger tips. They are made of glomus bodies, which are important for temperature regulation in the body. Treatment involves removal with surgery for pain control and symptom improvement.
There are other hand tumors including neuromas (arising from nerves), fibromas, venous malformations. These are usually benign and have treatment options including surgery. Hand arthritis can sometimes present as lumps and bumps in the knuckles and be confused with tumors.

Fortunately malignant masses in the hand are very uncommon. The majority of these arise from skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. The first step in their treatment is biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, the skin cancer is removed with surgery along with a healthy rim of non-cancerous skin tissue. A process of staging then begins to ensure the cancer has not spread to other areas of the body like the lymph nodes. The wound left after removal is closed with sutures or undergoes reconstruction with nearby tissue.

Hand Tumor and Lumps Procedure

There is no universal procedure for removal of hand lumps or tumors. For most lumps and tumors it is usually possible to perform an extensional biopsy, a procedure that removes the lump or tumor in its entirety. These biopsies are typically performed by making an incision overlying the tumor or lump. For some other tumors, it is necessary to do staging with imaging and a limited biopsy prior to complete removal of the mass or lump.


Most procedures for hand tumors and lumps use an incision on top of the mass to remove it. In some cases a wedge of tissue and skin around the tumor is also removed. 


Outpatient procedure for most cases. For most common tumors and lumps recovery from the procedure is complete in 7-10 days. There is need for therapy in some cases to reduce the swelling and enhance hand function. For complex tumors or lumps, the recovery is discussed at the time before the surgery.

Wound healing is typically complete in 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Return to work or activities depends on the procedure performed and is discussed at the time of the visit.

Why Choose Precision Hand Center for your Hand Tumor and Lumps Procedure?

Dr. Rueda, a Hand Fellowship trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience will be your safe and best choice for hand tumors and lumps. Successful results in this procedure requires a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in hand surgery and hand anatomy. Dr. Rueda has published articles in expert peer reviewed journals and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best hand tumor treatment Palm Beach can offer.


Usually physical examination and history are enough to diagnose most masses. However, it is only examination under the microscope that can definitively tell if the mass is benign or malignant. There is no single finding on physical examination that is suggestive of malignancy; however, unusual locations, invasion of nearby structures, and persistent gradual growth make it more likely for it to be a cancerous lesion.

Benign masses do not need surgery if they do not cause symptoms or are at risk of causing damage to other surrounding structures. These can usually be monitored once or twice a year until they become symptomatic enough for the patient to decide on having surgery.

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