Ganglion / Cyst

A ganglion is a small cyst that contains a thick jelly-like material. It looks and feels like a smooth lump under the skin. It is not fully understood how they occur. It is usually attached to a joint or tendon, and the fluid inside is like a thicker version of the fluid which ‘lubricates’ the joint and tendon sheaths (synovial fluid).

The two common sites where they are found are on the back of the wrist and on the top of the foot next to the small joints. Other sites of the body are affected less commonly.

Ganglions are benign, meaning that they do not spread. Sometimes they are mildly painful, particularly if they lie next to a nerve. They can very gradually enlarge to the size of about 1-2 centimetres. This can make them unsightly which is why most people want them removed. Occasionally, they go away on their own without any treatment.

If a ganglion does not cause symptoms it is best just to leave it alone. However, many people prefer to be rid of them.

Sometimes it is possible to suck out the fluid with a needle and syringe. If the jelly-like fluid is very thick this may not work. Also, if it does work, there is a chance that the cyst will recur as the wall of the cyst is not removed, and the fluid may form again to refill the ganglion.

Surgical removal of the ganglion is the most successful and permanent cure. This is a relatively minor operation. Rarely, after a ganglion is removed, one recurs again at the same site. However, after having it surgically removed a recurrence is much less likely to occur than after the other treatments mentioned above.


If your ganglion is symptomatic then please come and discuss the options with either one of our Podiatrists’ or for a surgical consult with the Consultant Podiatric Surgeon that operates within our practice.


To contact us please call 01932 849373 or book online.



This blog has been written by Anuj Soni and is not necessarily the opinion of The Footcare Centre Ltd.

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