bump on side of foot

bump on side of foot


What are the signs of bumps on side of foot?

Ganglion cyst is one of the causes of bumps on the legs and feet.

Do you know about ganglion cysts?

Do you know about the symptoms of foot ganglion cyst as a common cause of protrusion of the foot and how to treat it?

In the following we want to talk about ganglion cyst, which is a noncancerous mass on the side of the foot and on the foot, its causes, symptoms and its treatment.


What you will read next:



What is ganglion cyst?


Is there a genetic predisposition to ganglion cysts?

What are the symptoms of ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cyst

Mass profile

Cause of ganglion cysts


What shouldn’t we do if we have ganglion cysts?

When to see a doctor





A ganglion cyst is a benign, noncancerous mass that will often form on the soles of the feet and ankles.

Ganglion cysts usually form near the joints or tendons and tend to go away on their own. They are uncomfortable when they grow.

Medical treatment should be given for them. Treatment can be non-surgical treatments such as aspiration of cyst contents and injection, and surgery may be necessary.


What is ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cysts are actually soft masses that are commonly located on the wrists and feet, usually forming near the joint or tendons. According to statistics collected about four years ago, 11% of all ganglion cysts appear on the foot.

Of course, ganglion cysts can form in different parts of the foot, such as the edges and sides of the foot, but the most common place for them to form is on the foot. Their size can be very variable, they can be the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball, they are also round in shape, have a soft texture or sometimes have a very firm consistency.

An important point that characterizes ganglion cysts is that these cysts are like a balloon under the skin, meaning that they move freely. When we try to push and shake them with our fingers, we feel that they move freely under the skin.



It is said that they make up about 67% of all soft tissue masses that form on the hands and wrists.

In terms of age range, we can say that people of any age can develop ganglion cysts of the foot, but the most common age range is between 20 years and 50 years.

In terms of gender superiority, we have to say that women experience ganglion cysts more than men, in other words, women are three times more at risk of developing this cyst than men.


Is there a genetic predisposition to ganglion cysts?

We have to say that doctors say that although the disease is not inherited, it is still unclear whether there is a genetic predisposing factor that predisposes a person to this benign soft tissue tumor or not.

Risk factors for infection are as follows:

  • Injuries to the ankle or joints, especially the joints of the second fingers.
  • Inflammation or irritation of the tendon or inflammation and irritation of the joints
  • Frequent movements and repetitive activities in the wrists and fingers
  • and the final risk factor is chronic diseases such as arthritis


What are the symptoms of ganglion cyst?

When a person develops a ganglion cyst on the side of the foot and more commonly on the foot, this cyst will have the following characteristics:

Characteristic 1) The person notices the presence of a significant mass.

Characteristic 2) If this cyst-like mass is on a nerve or is close to a nerve fiber, the person may feel tingling and burning when the cyst is touched.


Ganglion cyst

This soft tissue mass can cause a vague feeling of pain if pressure is applied to the joint or tendon.

When a person wears shoes or sandals and wears socks, the area where the cyst is present will be stimulated.


Mass profile

One of the characteristics of the mass, as we mentioned in the previous section, is that it moves freely under the skin.

The consistency of the touch can be soft or sometimes stiff, and the average width of this cyst, which is quite benign, is 2.7 cm.

Another point is that according to statistics, when a ganglion cyst develops on the legs and sides of the foot, it causes pain in 67.9% of cases.


Cause of ganglion cysts

The main cause of ganglion cysts in the foot is not yet known, but the point is that when we look at people with this cyst, we find that these cysts often tend to grow in areas that, for example, have been injured in an accident or have been irritated and damaged due to the frequent movement of that part.

It appears that when joint fluid leaks from a joint or tendon, it accumulates in the sac under the skin, forming a ganglion cyst.

Joint fluid with synovial fluid lubricates the joint and tendons when moving and keeps them relative to each other with minimal wear.



In the treatment of ganglion cysts, it is better to mention the statistics:

About 7 to 8 years ago, extensive research found that about 58% of ganglion cysts disappear on their own without treatment, but it may take years for them to disappear spontaneously. And the other point is that the cases that disappear spontaneously have a recurrence rate of 15 to 20%.

If the ganglion cyst has caused pain and movement problems, your doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment.

For small cysts that do not cause pain or discomfort, the doctor will usually monitor the patient.

Ganglion cysts that cause pain and discomfort require one of the following techniques for treatment:

Your appropriate technique will be selected by your doctor after examining your condition.


  • Non-surgical treatment

Aspiration or injection; Aspiration involves emptying the contents of the cyst, and your doctor may also inject a steroid anti-inflammatory drug into the cyst.

Sometimes more than one session of intravesical corticosteroid injection is required.

It is necessary to say that the possibility of recurrence will still exist despite these treatments.


  • Surgery

If the non-surgical techniques of cyst aspiration and corticosteroid injection did not produce an appropriate therapeutic response in the patient or its performance was not appropriate for the affected person, Surgery is required to remove the cyst, of course, provided that the ganglion cyst has caused pain and discomfort. In this surgery, part of the joint capsule and part of the tendon sheath are also removed.

Unfortunately, even after surgery, recurrence of ganglion cysts should be considered.


  • Treatments and home care

If you have ganglion cysts and a bulge on the side of your foot and pain and discomfort, it is better to use the following methods to relieve your discomfort:

You can wrap ice cubes in a clean cloth and place it on the cyst to reduce inflammation and swelling, Cold also causes less pain.

It is better to limit the movements and activities that increase and aggravate the pain, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers.

Avoid wearing shoes that put pressure and irritation on the cyst. It may be necessary to use special pads on the cyst to reduce friction and pressure.


What shouldn’t we do if we have ganglion cysts?

In some traditions and societies, hitting a cyst with a heavy object such as a book or brick is recommended. It is completely ineffective and can cause serious damage to the surrounding tissues. The next point is that you should never empty the cyst at home. Any attempt to drain the cyst at home can cause infections and sometimes serious complications.


When should we see a doctor?

If you have this benign cyst and it has caused you pain and discomfort and irritability, or if it is unpleasant for you for cosmetic reasons, you should see a doctor.



If when you see a doctor with a bulge on the side of the foot, when the doctor suspects a ganglion cyst, he or she will take a detailed history and ask you the following questions:

Asks for signs of additional clinical manifestations:

Asks for how long the bump has been created.

Asks about changes in the size and shape of the bump.

Asks for your medical records

The doctor may also touch and press on the cyst during a physical examination to check for allergies as well as to check the consistency of the mass on your foot.

Flashlights are also sometimes used to check the passage of light through the contents of a cyst.

When the contents of a mass are liquid and the liquid is clear, a flashlight light usually passes through it and this test is called transillumination. It is also sometimes necessary to aspirate some of the fluid inside the cyst to send it to a laboratory for analysis.


Concluding remarks

Ganglion cysts are benign soft tissue masses that may resolve without treatment. The mass is filled with jelly fluid. near joints or tendons that are constantly moving is a common site for them to form. On the foot, ankle, side of the foot and wrist are common areas of these cysts.

Treatment is taken in case of pain, discomfort and a feeling of dissatisfaction in terms of beauty as well as movement restrictions. The type of treatment is adopted by your doctor according to your condition.

The important point is that ganglion cysts should never be drained at home.

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