As I was rubbing lotion onto my feet one day, I noticed a circular lump located a few inches away from my ankle bone; my initial reaction was what the heck is that! I poked at it for a bit left it a lone and then ignored it for the rest of the day. Within a month the lump on my foot became a little more raised, at that time I became more alert and then rushed off to show my mother, she of course responded, “You should go get checked that is not normal.” I compared my foot with hers, I had her touch it, she said it felt as though it was fluid filled, I then decided to sign onto the internet and searched, lump on foot, and I found what I had; A ganglion cyst.
What Is A Ganglion Cyst?
The name ganglion cyst sounds gruesome and painful but the cyst is benign, not cancerous and in most cases the cyst is painless. A ganglion cyst is a fluid filled sac that forms underneath the skin. These cysts can form on the covering of a tendon tissue, or on top of a joint. A great percentage of ganglion cysts form on the wrists but can also be found on the back of the hands, the knees, ankle, and on top of the foot.
Symptoms of the ganglion cyst
(Ganglion cysts are usually painless) however there is a possibility that a person may feel certain symptoms around the area where the cyst is located, these symptoms include;
Pain (with limited movement)
How to Spot a ganglion cyst
Look for a raised area of skin that resembles a lump, the lump can feel hard or, tender and spongy in the middle; the lump might be painless or painful. The cysts can be as small as a dime to as large as a quarter. These cysts may actually appear to change in size, or decrease in swelling, they may even go away only to pop up again.
What causes ganglion cysts?
Ganglion cysts can be caused when the foot or wrists undergoes trauma, which is something small such as something falling on the wrist, or foot, or accidentally bumping it. Ganglion cysts on the foot can also be caused by accidentally twisting the foot in exercise or activity, or the overuse or straining of a joint.
How are ganglion cysts diagnosed?
To diagnose ganglion cysts a doctor will carefully examine the area, and in some cases may drain the cysts to examine the fluid, magnetic resonance imaging may also be done to aid in the diagnoses.
Who is susceptible?
Ganglion cysts are very common in women aged 20 to 50 but can also be found in men.
How are ganglion cysts treated?
Thank goodness for the advancement in medical technology because without it the ganglion cyst would be treated by striking the cyst with a large heavy book until it ruptured and drained itself. Modern treatment is less gruesome and painful, the ganglion cyst can either be drained (aspiration), extracted (surgery), or monitored, however doctors encourage patients to leave the cyst alone if it is not causing any discomfort.
To drain the cyst, doctors will insert a needle into the cyst and remove the fluid; after the fluid is removed doctors will inject a steroid or anti-inflammatory, drug into the cyst. This method might have to be repeated over a period of time, even so, there is the possibility that the cyst will return.
If the cyst is extracted, a splint might have to be worn for 2 weeks.
If you spot something that resembles a ganglion cyst it is best to make an appointment with a doctor so that it can be examined and properly diagnosed because the cyst may not be a ganglion cyst, it may be something more serious.