A middle-aged man came in for a check-up. He mentioned that he had a sore on his third toe, which healed on its own. The dry scab visible was not of concern to me.
Three weeks later, he returned to the office for an unrelated issue. I looked at the toe again. This time I saw a bump which looked like it was about to explode; not a huge bump, but the skin was clearly stretched and tense. I told him: “This looks like a ganglion cyst.” And it was. Here are the details:
Ganglionic cysts are non-cancerous fluid or gel-filled lumps which most commonly arise from tendons or joints. They may develop suddenly. These cysts are usually painless except when they put pressure on a nerve or restrict motion at a joint. The initial treatment usually consists of removing the fluid from within it. Surgical excision of the cyst may be required if it recurs after aspiration.
Please don’t try the “home remedy” of smashing the cyst with a heavy object. This can damage surrounding structures in your foot. Also, don't try to "pop" the cyst by puncturing it with a needle or sharp object. This is unlikely to be effective and can lead to infection. Call us.