Soft Foot Lumps
When something smooth becomes bumpy or lumpy, you notice. Think about strange clumps appearing in previously smooth gravy, or speed bumps in a formerly flat road, or bulges behind normally smooth wallpaper. It can be unnerving at the very least. In many cases, strange bumps are a symptom of a problem, particularly when you find them in your body. This doesn’t automatically mean cancer, either, since a ganglion cyst is benign, but it still creates an obvious and sometimes painful lump on your foot.
The Anatomy of a Ganglion Cyst
Ganglion cysts on feet are small masses that grow out of a tendon sheath or a joint capsule, creating visible lumps under the skin. Something causes a small pouch-like structure to develop on the outside of a tendon on the top or side of your foot, or in the joint in front of your ankle. This little sac fills with clear, jelly-like fluid that can feel either relatively soft or fairly firm. It creates a round lump that can appear rapidly or grow slowly over a longer period of time. Generally the lump is less than an inch in diameter, though it can shrink or grow bigger. Sometimes the growth shrinks down and disappears on its own, given enough time, but it can also return in the same place.
No one is entirely sure what causes a ganglion cyst to develop on your foot. It’s generally believed to be connected to trauma or stress to the soft tissues in the lower limbs. This could be a single, traumatic injury or from long-term overuse. In either case, some injury to the tendon or joint capsule creates this fluid-filled sac that stays attached by a thin stalk.
The Effect of the Cyst on Your Foot
This bump is noncancerous and, in many cases, harmless and painless. Aside from seeing a lump on your foot, you may not notice any other symptoms. Not all ganglion cysts on feet are that simple, however. A cyst that develops and pinches a nerve can create nerve-related pain and problems. You may notice a tingling or burning sensation around the lump. If it adds pressure to a tendon or joint, you may develop a dull ache around it. Sometimes this can also limit movement in the foot. The most common problem, however, is irritation and pain from your shoes pressing against the bump.
Shrinking Down the Bumpy Growth
You shouldn’t accept and live with foot pain, even if a ganglion cyst is technically harmless. It is possible to treat and shrink down a cyst on your foot, alleviating any pain. Our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will examine the lump carefully to diagnose it accurately. We’ll need to rule out other possible causes for the growth. Then we can help you begin treatment.
The most effective remedy is to remove pressure on the bump and reduce the stress in your feet. Wear shoes with soft materials that don’t press against or squeeze the cyst. Limiting some activities that contribute to overuse issues may also help reduce pain and possibly shrink the bump. In some cases, immobilization in a splint may be what your foot needs to help the soft tissue and ganglion cyst heal. If these noninvasive methods aren’t working, you might need to have the lump aspirated. This means our team of specialists drain the fluid with a needle. In cases where the cyst continues to return, having the whole lump surgically removed may be your best option.
A ganglion cyst is benign and normally harmless, but that doesn’t mean any pain it does cause isn’t worth treating. You shouldn’t have to accept living with foot discomfort. Let our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas help you deal with your cyst, or any other lumps or bumps you may find on your lower limbs. Don’t wait—make an appointment with us today by calling (702) 839-2010 or using our web request form.