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Ganglion Cyst

What Is a Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a benign soft tissue mass that arises from either a tendon sheath or joint capsule. It usually presents as a sac filled with a jelly like fluid, and is one of the most common soft tissue masses in the body. They usually occur at the wrist, as well as the foot, and can grow and shrink on their own over time.

Causes

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

Symptoms

A ganglion cyst is associated with a lump that may be painful, cause some tingling and burning, or make it difficult to wear tighter fitting shoes.

Diagnosis

Physical examination by a podiatrist, with the potential for further studies such as X-ray, ultrasound or MRI would be beneficial for proper diagnosis.

Non-Surgical Treatment

There are various options for treating a ganglion cyst on the foot, either simple observation, shoe modification, or fine-needle aspiration to remove the fluid would be beneficial.

Surgery

Surgery is discussed when conservative methods have failed and the ganglion cyst has recurred. Surgery (removal of the sac itself) also has a risk of recurrence, though usually lower than needle aspiration.