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The appearance of a lump under the skin can be alarming, but fortunately, lumps aren’t always cancerous. Sometimes, the development of lumps along the joints of the feet and ankles indicates ganglion cysts. These benign lumps are round or oval, filled with viscous fluid, and occasionally painful. If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more ganglion cysts, your podiatrist in Sugar Land will explain your treatment options. There are both nonsurgical and surgical options for resolving your foot pain.

hands on foot in pain

Active Monitoring

It might not always be necessary to treat a ganglion cyst, especially if it doesn’t cause foot pain. Your podiatrist might recommend closely monitoring the cyst for a while. If the cyst does later press on a nearby nerve, you’ll feel tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and pain. At this point, it’s time to consider treating it.

Footwear Modification

Changing your footwear may help relieve your symptoms. Your podiatrist might recommend switching to a larger or wider shoe to prevent friction from irritating the cyst. You might also use some extra padding inside the shoe to protect the area.

Fluid Aspiration

Let your foot doctor know if the ganglion cyst is causing troublesome pain or is interfering with your day-to-day activities. It might be time to aspirate the cyst, which refers to the nonsurgical removal of the viscous fluid inside the lump. First, the doctor will thoroughly numb the skin in the area to prevent you from feeling any pain. Then, a sterile needle is used to puncture the cyst and draw out the fluid. You may be asked to rest the area for a day or two. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a soft towel to the area for about 20 minutes. You can use an ice pack about every hour or two to decrease the swelling. It is possible for a ganglion cyst to come back after it’s been aspirated.

Surgical Correction

If the cyst does come back after aspiration, it may be time to consider having foot surgery. Ganglion cyst surgery is a straightforward procedure that only requires a small incision to excise the cyst. Most patients resume their normal activities within three to six weeks.