overview

A ganglion cyst may be a round, fluid-filled lump of tissue that sometimes appears along tendons or joints. It typically occurs on the wrist or hand, but it also can appear on the ankle or foot.

Ganglion cysts are often as large as an in. across. Some cysts are visible underneath the skin, but others are so small that you simply can’t see them. They’re common and typically harmless. They aren’t cancerous. Most get away without treatment.

symptoms of a ganglion cyst

The most common symptoms of a ganglion cyst include a visible lump, discomfort, and pain. If the cyst is on your foot or ankle, you may feel discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. If it’s near a nerve, a ganglion cyst can sometimes cause:

a loss of mobility
numbness
pain
a tingling sensation
Some ganglion cysts can become bigger or smaller over time

causes a ganglion cyst

Ganglion cysts occur when fluid accumulates in a joint or around the tendons in your:

hand
wrist
ankle
foot
This accumulation can occur due to injury, trauma, or overuse, but often the cause is unknown.

Ganglion cysts are more likely to develop in women and people who repeatedly stress their wrists, such as gymnasts.

ganglion cysts diagnosed

Your doctor will first examine the lump. They’ll ask you about your medical record and the way long you’ve had the lump. They’ll also ask you about your symptoms. they’ll order imaging tests, like an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, especially if they can’t see the lump. they’ll take a sample of the fluid within the cyst for testing.

ganglion cysts treated

Ganglion cysts often go away without treatment. If the cyst doesn’t cause pain or discomfort, treatment isn’t necessary. Your doctor may advise you to do the following:

Avoid repetitive hand and wrist movements.
Wear a wrist brace because immobilization might cause the cyst to shrink.
Wear shoes that don’t touch the cyst if it’s on your foot or ankle.
If your ganglion cyst causes pain or limits your mobility, your doctor may aspirate it. During this procedure, they’ll remove fluid from the cyst with a syringe. Surgical removal is an option if other treatments haven’t worked. However, the cyst may return even if your doctor surgically has surgically removed it.