Monday, January 9, 2012
When is Surgery Needed for a Ganglion Cyst in the Foot by San Francisco Running Foot Surgeon
A runner with a ganglion cyst called from San Francisco and had the simple question. "When should a runner consider ganglion surgery?" Here is the answer....
Whenever a patient has a big squishy lump on the top of the foot, big toe joint or the ankle joint, they want to know what will make it go away. The most common soft tissue mass in the foot is a ganglion cyst. Sometimes ganglion cysts will go away on their own. Sometimes the ganglion cyst needs to be drained. But sometimes a ganglion cyst in the foot needs surgery.Dr. Christopher Segler is a runner, 6-Time Ironman finisher and a nationally recognized foot surgeon and sports medicine podiatrist who focuses on rapid recovery from running injuries. He is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment soft tissue masses that may appear to be ganglion cysts. His research and theories on PVNS (a dangerous soft tissue mass that is often mis-daignosed as a ganglion in young adults) have been published in the medically journals and were used as the basis for new treatment methods of these soft tissue masses. He practices podiatry, sports medicine and surgery in San Francisco.
There are really 3 reasons that a ganglion cyst in the foot or ankle will need surgery
1. The ganglion cyst is painful.
2. The ganglion cyst is pushing directly on a nerve and can cause nerve damage.
3. The ganglion cyst is so big that it makes it difficult to wear shoes.
Unfortunately, many times ganglion cyst happen to develop in locations that are positioned close to nerves. This is really the best reason for a runner to think about ganglion surgery.
The tingling and burning pain that is often associated with a ganglion cyst is usually because the soft tissue mass is pushing against a nerve and causing the nerve to become irritated. If this continues for a long period of time, you can develop chronic pain or permanent nerve damage. The skin on the top of the foot is very thin and when a soft tissue mass develops the mass gets squished between the shoe and the bones that are close to the skin. The nerves that are located in that area can then get caught in the middle and cause pain. For this reason midfoot ganglion cysts often have to be removed surgically.