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What Is A Ganglion Cyst?


Blog Category:
11/28/2012
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A cyst is a fluid-filled object that is under the skin. The word “ganglion” means “knot.” It is called a ganglion cyst because it is a knot-like mass or lump under the skin.

Ganglion cysts, which are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses, will form from pressure and irritation of the underlying soft tissue structures.

They usually occur on the wrist, but also frequently develop on the top of the foot. The cysts vary in size and may get smaller and larger over time, sometimes even disappearing. It is possible for the cyst to return, however, even after it has disappeared.

Trauma usually triggers ganglion cysts and the cyst usually appears soon after the trauma has occurred. This trauma can be anything from dropping something on your foot to twisting your foot while walking.

There are several symptoms you may experience with a ganglion cyst. The main symptom, of course, is the noticeable lump on your foot. It should be apparent and when pressed in a certain way, should move freely under you skin.

The other symptoms include:

  • If the cyst is touching a nerve, you may feel a tingling or burning feeling.
  • If the cyst presses against a tendon or joint, you may feel a dull pain or ache
  • Pain or irritation when wearing shoes due to irritation between the lump on your foot and the shoe.

If you believe you have a ganglion cyst, you should see a doctor to have it properly diagnosed. Sometimes a small amount of fluid will be removed from the cyst at the doctor’s office for evaluation and a thorough examination of the foot will be conducted.
Once diagnosed, there are several options for treatment. Some of the treatments are very conservative. If you are not in pain and the cyst is not affecting your walking, your doctor may decide just to monitor the cyst over a period of time. Shoe modifications may also be recommended.

The fluid can also be drained from the cyst and a steroid medication injected into the mass. This treatment is called aspiration and injection. In some cases this treatment is successful, but many times the cyst returns.

Finally and as a last resort, ganglion cyst surgery can be performed to remove the cyst.

If you believe you have a ganglion cyst and would like to set up an appointment, you can contact our office at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906. You can also request an appointment online. 



Category: Foot Problems


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