A cyst can occur as much on the foot as it can on other parts of the body. The cause of these isn’t completely known. Most cysts on the foot present as a raised bump unless it’s in the bone. Fortunately, cysts are considered benign lesions.
Some cysts are soft and movable and others feel as firm as bone. A cyst can deflate and look like it’s gone before inflating again and being full-blown. This is commonly known as a Ganglion Cyst.
The top of the foot is the most common place for a cyst to appear on the foot. We’ve seen many Ganglion Cysts in multiple areas on the top of the foot. It’s rare to have a cyst like this on each foot. Ganglion Cysts are filled with a gel-like fluid. They are the ones that look big at one moment and deflated the next.
Cysts are also fairly common next to a bunion on the inside of the foot. Most of these are soft. They can press on a nerve causing pain when bumped. Narrower shoes can also cause pain on this cyst. If a person elects to have their bunion removed, the cyst can be removed at the same time.
Another common place for a cyst on the foot is the top of the smaller toes. These will always be raised and fairly small. Cysts on toes can pop expressing a clear fluid. Interestingly enough, the second and third toes are where most of these cysts appear.
Lastly, an uncommon place for a cyst is in the heel bone. Some can cause pain and others don’t. An x-ray is needed to make this diagnosis. The biggest risk of this type of cyst is the bone weakening to the point of breaking.
Some cysts will vanish without treatment. The ones that persist can be left alone if they don’t hurt. A larger one, such as a Ganglion Cyst, can be injected with cortisone before resorting to surgical removal. Surgical removal of a cyst is a good option if the cyst is consistently painful.
You may have heard us say that any bump on the foot should be evaluated and diagnosed. As always, we will do everything in our power to manage this condition with non-surgical measures. We have extensive experience diagnosing and treating cysts on the foot.