Ganglion Cyst in the Big Toe Joint: Causes & Best Treatment 2019
Do you have a ganglion cyst in the big toe joint? This is a clear mucous like fluid that is safe and non-cancerous 99+% of the time.
Overview of a ganglion cyst in the big toe joint:
- A ganglion cyst in the big toe joint as well as anywhere in the foot is a common cause of foot discomfort.
- If you have a big bump on your big toe joint or your foot and you think it is a ganglion cyst- you can try pushing on it hard and seeing if it moves around, but even if it is hard it can still be a ganglion cyst.
- If it is hard, this may be a bunion or big toe spur.
- These are usually harmless sacs of fluid, but you should definitely go see a podiatrist to make sure that it is not any type of cancerous mass.
What is a Ganglion Cyst in the Foot and Great Toe Joint?
- The ganglion cyst in the great toe joint is the protrusion of a tendon lubricant known as synovial fluid.
- One large cyst or many smaller cysts can appear that look like one large lump.
- This fluid is in a balloon like sac that is normal surrounded on all sides by a joint capsule, but if there is a gap in the joint capsule it leaks out like a balloon that is being squeezed on.
- This usually forms a small 1-3 cm sac.
Ganglion Cyst of the Great Toe Joint Symptoms:
- Usually but not always painful.
- Can compress nerves, leading to numbness burning and tingling.
- Can compress blood vessels.
- 1-3cm Lump.
- These lumps can cause joint irritation and pain.
- Can change in size with motion and time of day.
- Can be hard or soft.
Is it dangerous?
- These ganglion cysts are not harmful, in the big toe joint they can become very annoying and rub against your socks and shoes, but there is no real danger.
- Ganglion cysts are very common in the foot, this is a condition that we see very frequently in our office, this is usually something not to be very concerned about.
- These are not cancerous, but the only way to be 100% sure is to get some imaging and a biopsy of the cyst.
Who is most likely to get them?
- They are much more common in women, frequently they can occur between age 20-50 years.
Where are ganglion cysts the most common besides the big toe joint?
Ganglion cysts can also be found commonly in:
- The fingers and the palm of the hand. These are usually small bumps.
- The finger tip or the tip of the small toes. These can be known as mucocutaneous cysts.
- Around the back of the knee.
- Around the ankle.
- The top of the foot. This can look like a lump or bone spur.
Is a Ganglion Cyst in the Big Toe Joint Dangerous?
- Ganglionic Cysts are not Dangerous, but they can very easily be mistaken for a dangerous tumor, so always get them checked out!
- The only way to confirm this is to get imaging such as an ultrasound, an X-ray and potentially an MRI.
- The only way to know 100% is to get a bone biopsy.
- Find out more about toe, toenail and foot cancer.
- They can become very irritating and uncomfortable in your shoes as well. They can also change in size which is very disconcerting!
Ganglion cyst on foot and toe treatment:
- In the past these used to be called bible bumps.
- A bible was used to smash them back into place.
- This is no longer the way to go.
- Just go see your podiatrist and be safe!
- Sometimes the cysts can disappear all by themselves.
Ganglion cyst on toe, knuckle, foot and ankle examination:
- A physical exam by a podiatrist is the best way to make sure that it actually is a ganglion cyst.
- The podiatrist will usually try to image the cyst first with an X-ray or possibly even an ultrasound.
- The podiatrist may take an aspiration of the cyst.
- Sometimes is there is a concern, a ganglion cyst biopsy may be performed.
- If there is further concern or worry, an MRI may be orderd to solve this problem.
Ganglion Cyst Removal in Toe, Knuckle, Foot and Ankle:
Ganglion cysts can also occur in the toe, toe knuckle, foot and ankle.
- There are many different ways to remove these toe and foot cysts with varying levels of success.
- Ganglion cysts on the big toe joint, the smaller toes and the foot can disappear all on their own.
- Given enough time they can disappear, sometimes we even book a patient for surgery and the day of the surgery the cyst is gone!
- Aspiration can be performed in the offce to drain the cyst.
- We can also inject a steroid into the joint at the same time for higher rates of relief.
- The rate of keeping away for good is usually under 50%.
- But it does make sense to sample the fluid to make sure your ganglion cyst is not something for dangerous.
Ganglion Cyst Foot and Toe Surgery:
Ganglion cyst foot surgery can sometimes be an option if draining it numerous times does not work and it causes constant pain.
- An incision is usually made directly over the cyst.
- The cyst is then excised completely with spreading scissors.
- Electrocautery can then be used to burn the stalk of the cyst as it connects to the joint.
- Ganglion cyst foot surgery is not perfect, but the rates are about 80-90% success rate over the longer term.
-Click on the above link for the complete home treatment guide.
Can a ganglion cyst be hard?
- A ganglion cyst in the foot and toe is usually hard.
- It can usually be mobile, but if not, this really does not mean much.
For more on a Ganglion Cyst in the Big Toe Joint
Consider Plantar Fibroma:
- Consider a plantar fibroma as a cause of the lump on the bottom of your foot.
- We frequently see patients present with this condition believing it is a ganglion cyst.