Ganglion Cyst Foot

Last reviewed by Dr.Mary on October 3rd, 2018.

What is a Ganglion cyst of the foot?

This is a tumor which is benign, swelling or lump that technically can occur on anyplace of the body but ganglion cysts are usually most common on the hands and are also very common on the feet. The term comes from the word ‘ganglion’ translated to ‘knot’ recounting the lump of cells which is knotted and grow beneath the surface of the skin of the foot.

A ganglion cyst is a sac which is filled with fluid that arises from either a joint (space between two bones) or from a tendon (a structure which attaches muscle into a bone). Inside this cyst is a substance which is sticky, thick, clear, jelly-like and colorless. Depending on the size and shape, cysts can feel spongy or firm.

Ganglion cysts do vary in size. They may get larger or smaller as well as may even vanish totally, only to return later. They can make wearing shoes very uncomfortable.

Symptoms of Ganglion Cyst on Foot

A ganglion cyst is typically associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A noticeable lump – often this is the only symptom which a person can experience.
  • It is typically soft, somewhere around 1 cm to 3 cm in width and in most cases, it will not move.
  • Swelling can appear slowly or develop suddenly, can reduce in size, and can even disappear altogether, to return at a later time.
  • A majority of these cysts do cause some amount of pain, frequently following repetitive or acute trauma, but as many as 35% have no symptoms, except for cosmetic appearance.
  • The pain is usually non-stop, aching as well as made worse by joint motion.
  • When the cyst is linked to a tendon, you can feel a sensation of weakness in the affected foot.
  • If the cyst is touching a nerve, there will be a sensation of tingling or burning.
  • There can be difficulty wearing shoes because of irritation between the lump and the shoe.

Ganglion Cyst Foot Treatment

Whether or not you have any symptoms, medical evaluation of a ganglion cyst is a favorable option. The primary care physician will make sure that it is indeed a ganglion cyst, and help you choose the best plan of action.

A ganglion cyst will not need any emergency treatment unless there is a substantial trauma. A check by either the primary physician or a doctor who specializes in treating bones and joints known as an orthopedist ought to be sufficient.

A careful examination by the doctor is usually all that is required to make a diagnosis of a ganglion cyst.

  • The physician can get additional verification by taking a syringe and drawing out a portion of the fluid inside the cyst – needle aspiration – or by using an ultrasound. An ultrasound is a method of imaging involving the use of sound waves, and this can aid in evaluating the bump to seeing it is fluid-filled or solid. Ultrasound can identify if there is a blood vessel or artery involvement within the lump. Benefits of ultrasound exposure are that it is widely accessible, it is fast, it is low-cost as well as it is a reliable method of imaging.
  • Use of X-rays is not needed to diagnose ganglion cysts.
  • Your primary care physician may refer you to a surgeon if the bump is solid or if the bump involves an artery.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI can be used and is suitable for ganglions. One drawback to this diagnostic tool is that it is quite expensive.

Facts on the Medical treatment of cysts include:

  • Most ganglion cysts (38%-58%) can go away without any treatment at all.
  • Various treatments have been proposed over the years. One is advising those with cysts that have no symptoms not to worry, using a needle to take out the cyst contents (aspiration), or surgery.
  • The treatment depends on the severity of the ganglion cysts to the foot. If the cyst does not hurt and does not interfere with the patient’s ability to walk or perform other regular activities with the foot, the physician may ask the patient to wait until the cyst disappears.
  • Patients that are susceptible to ganglion cysts can be asked to wear shoes which are prescribed by the doctor, or at least pads for anti-pressure that can line regular shoes.
  • If the cyst perseveres, aspiration may be implemented. The cyst is drained of the fluid inside, and a medication consisting of a steroid is injected back into the cyst to help reduce inflammation and prevent subsequent refilling.
  • Currently, an additional substance known as hyaluronidase was presented as a ‘partner’ to the steroids. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme which is already in extensive use in the management of some kinds of arthritis. An investigation has established that when joined with steroids, it increased the cure rate of ganglion cysts by 57% to 89%. The cyst will heal with only one visit, but in numerous cases, the cysts did reappear.
  • If all treatment options fail, surgery can be used to remove the cyst. When cysts are detached by operation, they rarely recur, but there are cases where they do.

Ganglion Cyst Foot Surgery

If an individual is suffering from problems using the foot or considerable pain or if the treatment options have not worked, the physician may make a referral to a surgeon to eliminate the cyst.

In a majority of the cases, the surgery is performed as an outpatient which means that the individual can go home on the same day after the surgery.

During Surgery:

  • Normally, a local or regional numbing agent is used to deaden any pain in the area to be operated on.
  • The specialist will then make a cut into the skin over the cyst. The cyst size determines the incision size.
  • The cyst, as well as the stalk which fastens the cyst to the tendon or joint, together with a portion of the tissue in the surrounding area, will be removed.
  • The surgeon then stitches and bandages the area.

After Surgery:

  • The limb operated on needs to be kept in an elevated position for at least 48 hours to help to reduce swelling. There may be some discomfort, tenderness and swelling for 2 to 6 weeks.
  • The physician will endorse analgesics, for instance, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or non-steroidal drugs for inflammation or NSAIDs, for instance, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen for the relief of pain.
  • Change bandages as instructed.
  • Dependent on the cyst location, the doctor may mention in the meantime using a brace or a splint to help with minimizing postoperative pain. But, in many cases, using the limb as quickly after surgery is not advised.
  • As the area heals, it is critical to monitor for any symptoms of infection such as discharge, redness, or swelling

Unfortunately, there is no assurance that a ganglion cyst will not return, even with surgery. And also, as with every type of surgery, there are some hazards to be thought about. Although rare, injury to tendons, blood vessels or nerves may occur. These can cause weakness, restricted motion, or numbness.

Ganglion Cyst Foot Pictures

Ganglion Cyst Foot Ganglion Cyst Foot Ganglion Cyst Foot Pictures of Ganglion cyst foot Ganglion Cyst Foot Ganglion Cyst Foot Ganglion Cyst Foot Ganglion cyst foot surgery pictures

Leave a Reply

© 2019 All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy
This website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.