Cysts can develop on any part of the body. On the foot, they usually develop under the skin; however, they can also emerge more deeply in the bones, joints, or ligaments. Cysts are fluid-filled and can cause pain and discomfort, especially if they are located in an area susceptible to footwear pressure or infringe upon a nerve. Cysts can develop from something as simple as improperly-fitting footwear; they can also result from foot injuries.
There are several types of cysts that can impact the feet. One of the most common is ganglion cysts that form on a tendon or joint. These cysts are filled with a jelly-like fluid and form a knot or mass underneath the skin that’s size can vary over time. Synovial cysts also form in tendons or joints. Doctors can use diagnostic tests such as [term=’x-rays’]X-rays[/term], CT scans, [term=’ultrasound’]ultrasounds[/term], and [term=’mri’]MRIs[/term] to view and diagnose cysts.
Cysts on the feet can be treated with orthotics that alleviate pressure. Doctors may monitor cysts over time to detect changes in size or composition; they may also remove fluid from a cyst. Sometimes, after extracting fluid, treatment may involve a steroid injection into the cyst. It is not uncommon for cysts to return.