Finding a lump, bump, or knob somewhere on your foot can be disconcerting, to say the least. Unfortunately, ganglion cysts—bulbous, fluid-filled outgrowths from damaged tendon sheaths or joint capsules—are quite common, especially among women in their 20s and 30s. If you develop one, your second thought (after “What is this?”) will likely be “How do I make it go away?”
Cysts can grow, shrink, or even disappear all on their own, without obvious warning or cause. That being said, you can try “encouraging” the bump to get smaller with a few simple strategies.
In general, ganglion cysts tend to increase in size during periods of exercise or stress, and can shrink with rest. If you can identify an activity that may be irritating or aggravating the area, you might try modifying your behavior and seeing if it makes a difference. For example, cysts that appear on the top of your feet may be exacerbated by tight or unsupportive footwear; choosing a more spacious pair of shoes and/or inserting foot pads to protect and relieve pressure on the bump may reduce its size, as well.
If these strategies aren’t helping, and the cyst is causing pain or getting in the way of normal activities, you have professional treatment options, too. The most common solution is aspiration and injection, a two-step process that involves draining the fluid inside the growth and injecting a steroid. However, in trickier cases the best solution may be to remove the entire mass surgically.
Whether painful or not, it’s best to get any strange lumps checked out by Harvey R. Danciger, DPM as soon as possible. While it may be harmless, a proper diagnosis will help rule out conditions that may appear similar but carry more serious consequences. Give us a call at (760) 568 – 0108 to schedule an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office today.
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