Among the more mysterious ailments we treat at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry are ganglion cysts. These swellings normally occur in the hands, but are sometimes found on the feet or ankles. Although they are not cancerous, they may cause patients pain or dysfunction and are worth examining.
Joints are full of lubricating liquids that help tendons to pull on them without causing wear-and-tear. But in people with ganglion cysts, a pocket of fluid has bulged outward, displacing the sheath that normally surrounds joint and tendon structures. The cysts may be too small to notice or they may be an inch wide and change in size. They occur most often in young women who do repetitive activities or have injured the affected joint in the past. The pressure the cyst puts on nerves could cause pain, tingling, or numbness.
We’ll need to do imaging and tactile tests to ensure that we’ve identified a ganglion cyst correctly. If the diagnosis is confirmed, we can use a syringe to withdraw fluid from the cyst, but it is possible the cyst will fill up with more fluid. If the patient has suffered an injury that the joint fluid is leaking through, we may recommend the use of a split while the joint heals. If the cyst is painful and persists, we may consider surgical removal. It is unwise for patients to attempt to drain cysts on their own.
Dr. Frank Killian and Dr. Sameep Chandrani run Mercer-Ocean Podiatry. For the location at 2103 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Hamilton Township, New Jersey, 08619, call 609-585-3200. For the location at 202 Rte 37 W, Suite 4, Toms River, New Jersey, 08755, call 732-557-4266. Visit New Jersey Foot.