All About Cysts
A cyst can occur as much on the foot as it can on other parts of the body. The cause of these isn’t completely known. Most cysts on the foot present as a raised bump unless the cyst is within the bone. Fortunately, cysts are considered benign lesions.
Some cysts are soft and movable and others feel as firm as bone. A cyst can get larger and smaller over time, and may even deflate completely and look like it’s gone. This is common with a type of cyst called a Ganglion Cyst.
The top of the foot is probably the most common place for a cyst to appear on the foot. Ganglion Cysts can however be found almost anywhere on the foot. Ganglion Cysts are filled with a thick, gel-like material. They are sometimes called Bible Bumps because people would drop large books, like a bible, on them to make them deflate temporarily.
Cysts are also fairly common next to a bunion on the inside of the foot. Most of these are soft. They can press on a nerve causing pain when bumped. Narrower shoes can also cause pain by pressing on this cyst. If a person elects to have their bunion surgically corrected, the cyst can be removed at the same time.
Another common place for a cyst on the foot is the top of the smaller toes. These will always be raised and fairly small. Cysts on toes can break open and express a clear fluid.
A much less common place for a cyst is within the heel bone. Some can cause pain while others do not. An x-ray is needed to make this diagnosis. The biggest risk associated with this type of cyst is the bone weakening to the point of breaking.
Some cysts will vanish without treatment. The ones that persist can be left alone if they do not hurt or cause shoe irritation. They can be injected with cortisone before resorting to surgical removal. Surgical removal of a cyst is a good option if the cyst is consistently painful.
You may have heard us say that any bump on the foot should be evaluated and diagnosed. As always, we will do everything in our power to manage this condition with non-surgical measures. We have extensive experience diagnosing and treating cysts on the foot.
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