LOCATION:

20360 SW Birch St. Ste 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660

APPOINTMENTS:

Call Us
(949) 833-3406

OFFICE HOURS:

M, T, W, F: 7:30am-5:00pm
Th: closed

Ganglion Cyst

What Is a Ganglion Cyst?  

A ganglion cyst is a sac filled with a jellylike fluid that originates from a tendon sheath or joint capsule. The word “ganglion” means knot and is used to describe a knot-like mass or lump that forms below the surface of the skin. 

Ganglion cysts are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses. Although they most often occur on the wrist, they also frequently develop on the foot—usually on the top. Ganglion cysts vary in size, may get smaller and larger, and may even disappear completely. Ganglion cysts can be unpredictable and difficult to get rid of.  

Causes 

Although the exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, they may arise from trauma—whether a single event or repetitive microtrauma.

Symptoms 

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

  • A noticeable round or ovoid lump—often this is the only symptom experienced
  • Tingling or burning, if the cyst is pressing against a nerve
  • Dull pain or ache, which may indicate the cyst is pressing against a tendon or joint
  • Difficulty wearing shoes due to irritation between the lump and the shoe 

Diagnosis 

To diagnose a ganglion cyst, the doctor will perform a thorough examination of the foot. The lump will be visually apparent, and, 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. Your doctor may take an x-ray, and in some cases, additional imaging studies may be ordered.

Conservative Treatment

There are various options for treating a ganglion cyst on the foot:

  • Monitoring only. If the cyst causes no pain and does not interfere with walking, the surgeon may decide it is best to carefully watch the cyst over a period of time.
  • Shoe modifications. Wearing shoes that do not rub the cyst or cause irritation may be advised. In addition, placing a pad inside the shoe may help reduce pressure against the cyst.
  • Aspiration and injection. This technique involves draining the fluid and then injecting a steroid medication into the mass. More than one session may be needed. Although this approach may be successful in some patients, in many others, the cyst returns. 

Surgery

When other treatment options fail or are not appropriate, the cyst may need to be surgically removed. While the recurrence rate associated with surgery is much lower than that experienced with aspiration and injection therapy, there are nevertheless cases in which the ganglion cyst returns.  

 

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with a Ganglion Cyst, feel free to contact the office at (949) 833-3406, or request an appointment.  We look forward to helping you!