Ganglions

A ganglion, or ganglion cyst, is a fluid-filled swelling of the lining of a joint or tendon. Ganglions can form on any part of the foot, but are most common on the ankle and top of the foot. Ganglions are usually painless, but can become painful if it presses on a nerve.

There is no definitively known cause for a ganglion cyst. Most experts agree that these cysts are caused by trauma to the affected area. This causes tissue to break down into small cysts that can then form larger cysts. Another potential cause of a ganglion cyst can be related to overuse of a certain joints. Repetitive irritation can weaken the lining of the joint or tendon and lead to ganglions.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Ganglion cysts of the foot usually appear as a lump on top of the foot. The lump is typically soft and will change in size. If the cyst puts pressure on the nerves in the overlying skin, it can cause burning, numbness, or tingling.

TREATMENT

Ganglion cysts are normally treated by:

  • Immobilization: use a split or brace to limit the movement and stress that can irritate the affected area.
  • Aspiration (drainage): fluid removal may relieve symptoms, though ganglions may return.
  • Shoe modifications: wear shoes with enough room to prevent irritation of the cyst. You can also place pads around the ganglion to ease pressure and friction on the affected area.
  • Surgery: may be required if the cyst is causing severe, ongoing pain and is limiting your range of motion.
Access to the care you deserve

Locations

SportsMED provides services in 4 locations to serve the communities in North Alabama with convenient quality care.

Huntsville
4715 Whitesburg Dr. Huntsville, AL 35802
256-881-5151
256-880-3939
Mn-Fr: 7am-6pm, St-Sn: Closed
Madison
33 Hughes Rd. Madison, AL 35758
256-464-8200
256-464-8220
Mn-Fr: 8am-5pm, St-Sn: Closed
Athens
22423 Hwy US-72 Suite A Athens, AL 35613
256-230-9607
256-230-9606
Mn-Fr: 8am-5pm, St-Sn: Closed
Decatur
2506 Danville Rd. Suite 202 Decatur, AL 35603
256-306-0800
256-306-0943
Mn-Fr: 8am-5pm, St-Sn: Closed