A ganglion cyst is a bump on side of foot. The human foot contains 26 bones connected with more than a hundred ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are strong tissues that help connect the bones, provide support and aid movement. These ligaments are covered with synovial membranes. A synovial membrane secretes a thick liquid known as synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant between joints to prevent friction.
Bumps on the side of your foot are commonly known as ganglion cysts, which arise from the fluid-filled areas on the ligaments or between the bones. A ganglion cyst is a sac-like structure filled with fluid that can become thicker over time, causing the cyst to feel firm and spongy. A ganglion cyst is round or oval in shape. It can increase in size and appear on the side, top, or bottom bump on the side of your foot. It can be painful or uncomfortable and interfere with your walking abilities.
The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown. It can grow out of the joint or ligament. It can develop after too much stress or an injury. It may also occur when the tissue that surrounds a joint or tendon comes out of position. Factors that increase the risk of developing ganglion cysts include:
Sex: Ganglion cysts commonly affect women more than men
Age: It commonly affects people who are between the ages of 20 and 40
Joint or tendon injury: People with joint or tendon injuries are at higher risk of developing ganglion cysts
Osteoarthritis: People with osteoarthritis are at higher risk of developing ganglion cysts
A ganglion cyst appears as a lump underneath the skin. It commonly develops along the joints or ligaments. It is most common around the foot and ankle. It can be very small when it first appears and grow larger over time, up to about 2.5 centimeters. Ganglion cysts can be painless. However, they may become painful if they rub against or press on a nerve. You may feel a tingling sensation, numbness, burning or aching. You may also find it uncomfortable or difficult to wear your shoes. Ganglion cysts may come and go or disappear on their own.
If a ganglion cyst becomes painful and affects your walking abilities, it may require treatment.
Treatment options include home remedies and other conservative treatments. Home remedies are self-care treatments include:
Other treatment options include:
Aspiration: Your foot doctor punctures the cyst so that fluid can drain from the cyst. Don’t do this by yourself as it could cause infection.
Immobilization: Immobilizing the area where the cysts are formed with a brace or splint can improve the condition. Immobility can lead to the gradual shrinking of the cyst, which releases the pressure on the nerves, leading to the reduction of pain. However, you shouldn’t use the brace or splint for a long period of time. This could lead to weakened muscles.
Surgery: This is the last option if other treatments fail to improve your condition. Surgical procedure involves the removal of the cyst and the stalk that attaches the cyst to a joint or ligament.
Most ganglion cysts go away without treatment. Some ganglion cysts may reappear after being treated. It can take up to 18 months for a ganglion cyst to totally go away.
Do you have a ganglion cyst? Schedule an appointment with Graff Foot Ankle and Wound Care. Call (972) 403-7733 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form to schedule your visit.
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