The Origins of That Lump on Your Foot

lump of coalYou know you didn’t bump it on anything, nothing fell on it, and it doesn’t look bruised, so what is that lump on your foot? Could it be cancer? Anything is possible, but we doubt it. More than likely you have developed a ganglion cyst.

These are benign growths that form from a joint covering or tendon. The cyst is often attached at a point where there is a little bulge in the lining of these tissues. A thin stem reaches toward the surface and then forms a sac of gel-like fluid just underneath the skin layer that makes it rise into a bump. They can be as small as a pea and hardly noticeable, or look like someone inserted a large grape under your skin.

We don’t understand exactly what causes them, but most seem to occur in young women between the ages of 20 and 30. They can also be associated with cases of osteoarthritis or a previous injury to the joint or tendon. They are anchored in one place, but can shrink and swell over time, or do a disappearing act like Houdini and then reappear later.

Some are of these benign growths are painful, others are not. If they happen to rest on a nerve, they can cause tingling, burning, or numbness, or a dull ache if they press on a tendon or joint. It can be difficult to wear shoes if they are located in a spot where the footwear will rub against them.

You should always have a lump like this checked out at our office, to make sure it is a cyst, but if they are not bothering you or limiting you in any way, you probably won’t need any treatment. If you do have pain or other symptoms, we can advise you of available treatments and carry them out right in our office.

If you notice anything unusual about your feet, please call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Colorado to set up an appointment to be seen. The same number – (303) 423-2520 – reaches our locations in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, and Granby, or you can schedule online through our contact page. We look forward to easing your worries and your foot pain!
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