What’s a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts are round, liquid-filled growths that develop along the joints or tendons. They can also grow up to an inch in diameter causing pressure and pain on surrounding nerves and hindering overall joint mobility. In rare instances, Ganglion cysts can also be recurring.

What Causes a Ganglion Cyst?

The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown. However, their formation is often tied back to trauma or repeated irritation which causes surrounding tissue to become displaced. This displacement of tissue creates a round lump that typically forms on the top of the foot or ankle. Those who have suffered from arthritis and bone spurs may also tend to experience ganglion cyst formation.

How to Identify a Ganglion Cyst

The most identifiable characteristic of a ganglion cyst is the round bulging shape it forms on your foot or ankle. However, some other symptoms & characteristics are:

  • Pain & irritation
  • Loss of foot or ankle mobility
  • Swelling with activity & corresponding depression with rest
  • Location – typically develops on the joints & tendons of the ankle or tops of the foot & toes

How to Treat Ganglion Cysts

There are many care & treatment options for ganglion cysts – from home remedies to surgical treatments in certain cases.

Home Remedies For Ganglion Cysts
Ganglion cysts often dissipate on their own. Below are home remedies that may help to clear the cyst:

  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Appropriate footwear to reduce irritation
  • Soaking the cyst with a mix of warm water & Epsom salt
  • Applying a warm compress

Some things you should not try on your own include:

  • Flattening the cyst with pressure or impact
  • Popping the cyst & self-draining (this may lead to infection)

Surgical & Non-Surgical Treatment Options
A podiatrist may suggest you give your ganglion cyst some time to heal on its own. However, if it’s causing pain or interfering with foot or ankle mobility they may suggest:

  • Wearing a brace or splint
  • Aspiration – draining the cyst
  • Cortisone shots
  • Surgically removing not only the cyst, but any attachment it has to the joint or tendon it’s stemming from

At Advanced Foot & Ankle our podiatrists always look to conservative treatment first and only suggest surgery when absolutely necessary. With early examination and treatment they can often resolve your cyst in a timely fashion as well.

Our podiatrists will begin the treatment of your ganglion cyst by performing a complete examination – occasionally running additional tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.) to confirm your diagnosis. Next, the podiatrists will look to the non-surgical treatment options they feel will best help you in your recovery. If the cyst continues to reoccur or is painful they will then look to a surgical treatment.

Nashville Foot &
Ankle Center

397 Wallace Road, Building C, Suite 411
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 332-0330

Smyrna Foot &
Ankle Center

300 StoneCrest Blvd., Suite 255
Smyrna, TN 37167
(615) 220-2982

Spring Hill Foot &
Ankle Center

5073 Columbia Pike, Suite 230
Spring Hill, TN 37174
(615) 302-5400

Columbia Foot &
Ankle Center

1503 Hatcher Lane, Suite 100
Columbia, TN 38401
(931) 388-9922

Dickson Foot &
Ankle Center

111 U.S. 70 East, Suite 102
Dickson, TN 37055
(615) 229-3045

Fairview Foot &
Ankle Center

2340 Fairview Blvd., Ste. 600A
Fairview, TN 37062
(615) 229-3045

Hohenwald Foot &
Ankle Center

617 West Main Street
Hohenwald, TN 38462
(931) 388-9922
afacc locations
scroll to top