A ganglion cyst is a jellylike fluid filled sac that originates from a tendon sheath or joint capsule. They are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses, and arise from trauma – whether it is a single event or repetitive micro-trauma. Although they most often occur on the wrist, they also frequently develop on the foot – usually on the top, but elsewhere as well. Ganglion cysts vary in size, may get smaller and larger, and may even disappear completely only to return later.
Oftentimes, the only symptom experienced is a noticeable lump. There can be tingling and burning associated with the cyst if it is touching a nerve, or a dull ache or pain if it is pressing against a tendon or joint. Some experience difficulty wearing certain shoes due to irritation between the lump and the shoe.
To diagnose a ganglion cyst, Dr. Mendoza will perform a thorough examination of the foot. When pressed in a certain way, it should move freely underneath the skin. Sometimes the surgeon will shine a light through the cyst or remove a small amount of fluid from the cyst for evaluation.
There are various options for treating a ganglion cyst of the foot, including: making shoe modifications, aspirating and injecting, and surgical removal of the cyst.
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