Ganglionic cysts often begin as a soft swelling which tends to enlarge over time. Ganglionic cysts tend to change in size, usually grow slowly and may cause local discomfort.. If a ganglion puts pressure on the nerves in the overlying skin, it can result in a disturbance in nerve function with associated numbness, tingling and pain.
Ganglion cysts can form on any part of the foot but are more commonly found on the top of the foot or the ankle. The condition involves an irritation of the covering around a joint or tendon. This irritation causes a secretion of fluid so that a fluid filled sac (cyst) is formed. Irritations may be caused by trauma and other stresses on the foot and ankle including abnormal joint motion..
Ganglionic cysts may respond to firm pressure but self treatment may often aggravate rather than solve the problem. Deliberate rupturing by firm pressure tends to cause the ganglionic cyst to recur. As ganglionic cysts can be mistaken for tumors or caused by a bone spur, a proper diagnosis is essential .
Some ganglionic cysts respond to aspiration (fluid withdrawn from the ganglionic cyst) followed by a cortisone injection to decrease pain and swelling. Surgical excision may be necessary. However there is a chance that the ganglion will recur if there is an underlying problem that is not attended to or corrected.