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A ganglion foot cyst is a swelling or growth that occurs around any of the various joints of the foot. It is less common than a ganglion wrist cyst, though it can occur and cause problems if left untreated. If pain occurs due to the ganglion foot cyst, you may want to consult a doctor before attempting any treatments. These cysts are sometimes called Bible bumps because one of the traditional treatments involves using a heavy book such as a Bible to burst the cyst. Safer and more accurate treatments are recommended, however.
Sometimes the ganglion foot cyst will not hurt or affect normal joint movement in any way. If this is the case, there may be no need for any specific treatment, and the cyst is likely to disappear on its own after time. If the ganglion foot cyst is accompanied by pain or if the joint's mobility is reduced as a result of the positioning of the cyst, visiting a doctor will give you a few different treatment options. The cyst can be aspirated, which involves removing the fluid within the cyst using a needle. A steroid is then injected into the cyst, and the foot is splinted to prevent movement as the wound heals. Aspiration may only need to be done once, though some cysts may require three or more treatments.
Surgery may be necessary for the most severe instances of a ganglion foot cyst. This option is usually not recommended as a primary treatment because the surgery can cause damage to surrounding tissues as well as nerves, and the cyst may come back even after it is removed. If the ganglion foot cyst causes constant or severe pain, however, this surgery may be a good option. A surgeon will essentially cut into the affected area to remove the cyst; sometimes the incision is quite small, making recovery much quicker and pain-free. The area will need to be splinted and protected against infection while healing occurs. The healing time can vary, but several days to several weeks is not uncommon.
It is difficult to prevent ganglion cysts from occurring because there is no solid evidence as to what causes them. Early detection and treatment is the best course of action, and the Bible therapy option should be avoided, as smashing the ganglion foot cyst can lead to other injuries and may not actually treat the cyst at all.