Phone: 817-697-4038 Fax: 877-409-3962

GANGLION CYSTS (FOOT)

If you suffer from ganglion cysts, please feel free to Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists.

What is a ganglion cyst?

The term “ganglion” denotes a knot and describes the knot-like mass or lump that forms beneath the skin’s surface.

Although benign, ganglion cysts can impede joint motion and cause discomfort, especially when wearing footwear. These cysts can emerge around or near any joint in the body, as they are extensions of the joint capsule that have ballooned outside of the joint and are filled with joint fluid. They are frequently found in the wrist or on the top or outer foot. Smaller cysts, known as mucous cysts, are commonly found in the tendon sheaths of the extensor tendons.

 

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What causes ganglion cysts?

The exact cause of ganglion cyst formation remains unknown. However, they may result from trauma, whether a single event or repetitive microtrauma.

What are the symptoms of a ganglion cyst?

One or more of the following symptoms typically characterize a ganglion cyst presentation. Firstly, individuals may notice a lump, often the sole symptom experienced. Secondly, if the cyst contacts a nerve, they may experience tingling or burning sensations. Additionally, dull pain or aching may manifest, indicating pressure on a tendon or joint. Lastly, difficulty wearing shoes may occur due to irritation from the lump rubbing against the footwear.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

Physicians diagnose these cysts via clinical examination with a specialist. Sometimes, healthcare providers take X-rays to assess surrounding joints for arthritis. An MRI or ultrasound may be conducted to confirm the presence of a fluid-filled ganglion cyst if there is suspicion of a different mass. MRI can also aid in diagnosing a hidden or occult ganglion.

Treatment

Nonsurgical Treatment

If a ganglion cyst causes no pain and does not interfere with walking, the surgeon may decide it is best to carefully monitor the cyst over a period of time. Advising on shoe modifications, such as wearing shoes that do not rub the cyst or cause irritation, and placing a pad inside the shoe to reduce pressure against the cyst, may be recommended.

Additionally, healthcare providers may perform aspiration and injection, which involves draining the fluid and then injecting a steroid medication into the mass.

Multiple sessions may be necessary, but despite this approach being successful in some cases, recurrence of the cyst is common.

 

Surgical Treatment: 

Surgical excision is the most definitive treatment for ganglion cysts. Despite excision, ganglion cysts may recur. Typically, surgeons perform ganglion cyst excision in an outpatient surgical setting, with a recovery period of 2-3 weeks. Your foot and ankle surgeon will discuss expectations for recovery with you.

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If you have any questions for our Texas based orthopedic specialists, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Tele-medicine appointments are also available.

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