Have you ever noticed a strange lump or bump on your foot? It’s not just you. Ganglion cysts are more common than you might think. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, they affect around 200,000 people in the United States every year. 

Ganglion Cysts are more common in women, with about three times as many women affected as men. Despite these statistics, anyone can develop a ganglion cyst. So, what exactly are ganglion cysts, and what can you do about them? 

What is a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts, or Bible cysts, are noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs that typically develop near joints or tendons in the wrists, hands, and feet. They can vary in size and shape, and while they are often harmless, they can sometimes cause discomfort or limit your range of motion.

Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts

The symptoms of ganglion cysts may include:

  • Visible Lump: A prominent, round, or oval bump on the wrist, hand, or foot.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Some individuals may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort near the cyst.
  • Limited Mobility: In cases where the cyst presses on a nerve or interferes with joint movement, it can affect your range of motion.

What is inside a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts are filled with a clear, jelly-like fluid. The fluid is similar to the synovial fluid found in joints and tendons. These cysts can form due to the herniation of this synovial fluid from the joint or tendon sheath.

What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unclear, but several factors may contribute to their development.:

  • Joint or Tendon Overuse: Repetitive activities or joint stress may contribute to developing ganglion cysts.
  • Injury: A previous injury to a joint or tendon can make it more susceptible to cyst formation.
  • Age and Gender: Ganglion cysts are more common in women and typically occur in people between 15 and 40.

How to Get Rid of a Ganglion Cyst

When it comes to dealing with a ganglion cyst, it’s best to see a podiatrist if your cyst doesn’t go away on its own. Your podiatrist at Celebration Foot & Ankle Institute can recommend the most suitable treatment, including:

  • Aspiration: This procedure involves draining the cyst’s fluid using a needle. While it provides relief, cysts may recur.
  • Surgery: In more severe cases, surgical removal of the cyst may be necessary, especially if it causes pain, interferes with joint function, or becomes a cosmetic concern.

Ganglion cysts may be common but shouldn’t be ignored if they cause pain or discomfort. If you suspect you have a ganglion cyst or have concerns about a lump on your wrist, hand, or foot, it’s important to seek professional medical advice. Our podiatrists at Celebration Foot & Ankle Institute are here to help.

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