ganglion cyst on top of footHave you recently discovered a lump or bump on your foot that’s causing you pain? Are you concerned it might be something serious?

Most likely you’ve developed a ganglion cyst. Fortunately, these cysts are nothing to worry about as they are non-cancerous. Ganglion cysts are frequently found on other parts of the body as well, such as the hands and wrists. On the feet they’re found most often on the top but can also show up on the bottom of the foot and the ankle.

What Are Ganglion Cysts?

Ganglion cysts are soft, fluid-filled lumps connected to tendons and joints. The word ganglion means knot, a name which accurately describes these cysts.

Ganglion cysts occur when your ligaments and joints secrete fluids and can vary in size. Most cysts cause mild pain resulting from the pressure created by wearing shoes. However, when they enclose or press on a nerve, the pain can be much worse.

What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

Although we don’t know the exact cause of these cysts, they most likely occur due to trauma or repetitive stress on the foot or ankle.


Symptoms of ganglion cysts can vary and can include:

  • Pain near the lump where the cyst pushes against a tendon or ligament
  • Tingling or burning sensation when the cysts is pressing on a nerve
  • More pain or irritation when shoes press on the cyst

Treatment of Ganglion Cysts

If you’re not currently feeling any pain or irritation with your cyst, you can forgo treatment. We can watch the cyst as it develops and treat when it starts to cause problems. It may also go away on its own.

Ganglion cysts can be drained or injected with steroids but often come back. Surgical removal is an option to prevent recurrence.

Finally, it’s important to find shoes that don’t rub against the cyst. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we can provide padding or help you find other ways to alter your shoes to prevent irritation to the site.


The best way to prevent cysts from forming is to wear well-fitted, comfortable shoes and avoid repeated foot injuries.

Make an appointment today to learn about getting treatment for your cyst. Call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.