Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a sac filled with a jellylike liquid that comes from a joint capsule or tendon sheath. These cysts almost always develop on the top of the foot but can sometimes develop elsewhere as well including on the ankle. There is no set reason for which these cysts occur, although, it is believed that they most frequently form because of some sort of trauma to the affected area. Sometimes they may dissipate or even disappear, however, there is a seventy percent chance that they will return later. These cysts most commonly occur in women between twenty-five and forty-five years of age but can occur in anyone. They are usually between one and three centimeters in diameter. These cysts are non-cancerous.

Ganglion cysts also occur in the wrist. A ganglion cyst foot is more common, likely due to the increased friction caused by wearing shoes everyday. These cycts are not harmful and not cancerous; however, they are uncomfortable and can be painful.


  • A lump on your foot caused by a mass located within the joint.
  • Some sort of burning feeling. This might also feel like tingling.
  • Aching or pain. These cysts are usually painless, however, if there is pain associated with the cyst this might show that the cyst is making contact with a joint or tendon.
  • Limited movement of the foot and/or ankle.


Normally, treatment isn’t necessary as many doctors will recommend leaving the condition be and letting it heal on its own. However, sometimes treatment is needed, and the following are some options. Injection is a technique which includes draining the liquid from the cyst and then injecting a steroid medicine into the cyst. This may need to be done more than once. Shoe alteration is another option. With this technique a patient’s shoe is modified so that there is no rubbing or friction between the shoe itself and the cyst. The cyst could also possibly be surgically removed. This option is usually a last resort as doctors generally try to avoid surgery if at all possible. The only known complications are recurrence, joint stiffness and scar formation. .