Not all bumps and lumps are cancer. In fact, most aren’t. That said, if you have a cyst on your foot, it can be a source of significant concern, not to mention discomfort, embarrassment, and even pain, particularly if it’s located in a particularly troublesome or weight-bearing location.
Types of Cysts
Cysts are small, irregular closed sacs that form inside your body. They might be filled with fluid, semi-solid materials, or even air. The most common type of cyst found on the feet is known as a ganglion cyst. These lumps are pockets of soft tissue that have filled with gelatinous fluid leaking from a nearby joint. Although they can technically emerge almost anywhere in the body, they are by far the most common in the feet and hands.
Ganglion cysts, and most other types of foot cysts, are generally not cancerous or otherwise “dangerous” (although you should always get them checked to be safe). They may grow, shrink, or even disappear on their own without treatment. In fact, often no direct treatment is necessary.
Removing a Cyst on the Foot
However, when a cyst presses on surrounding tissues, particularly nerves, there can be pain, aches, tingling or numbness, and irritation, and it may be difficult to wear shoes. In such circumstances, it’s often best to eliminate the cyst, unless a modification like orthotics or a different pair of shoes is enough to accommodate the mass.
One option is to drain the cyst using a thin needle, a process known as aspiration. Once the cyst has been removed of all fluid, we inject the area with a corticosteroid. This will often relieve the painful pressure, but since the cyst itself isn’t technically removed, it may eventually grow back.
Surgical Removal of a Cyst
In other cases, you may opt for surgical removal of the cyst. This is more likely to be the best course of action if a cyst is especially painful or large and aspiration has been ineffective. Surgical removal of a foot cyst is a relatively straightforward procedure completed within our office; you can go home the same day, with a full recovery time of around 2-6 weeks on average. Although it’s possible a cyst will re-emerge in the same location, the recurrence rate is much lower for surgical removal than for aspiration.
If a particularly obtrusive cyst is causing pain or getting in the way of your favorite activities, make the call to Fixing Feet Institute for a screening and treatment options. There’s no reason to keep hobbling in pain! You can reach us in Surprise, AZ by calling (623) 584-5556 today.