If you have a soft bulge on your ankle, you’re not the only one. Ganglion cysts, or ganglions, are pockets of fluids that form around joints. Although they are more common on the wrists, they can form on ankles, too, and many people find them cumbersome and annoying. At Knoxville Footcare, we can help you to manage a ganglion cyst or reduce its size, allowing you to enjoy a full range of motion.
Ganglion cysts are not fully understood, but they seem to develop in areas where joints have been subjected to unusual stress. Tendons are sheathed in a tissue called synovium, which also lines joints, and the synovial fluid held inside synovium provides cushioning. Ganglion cysts are synovial fluid-filled bulges that balloon in areas where synovium has been weakened. Some cysts are too small to be seen from the outside, but may make themselves known by impinging a nerve or restricting the joint’s movement. Although ganglion cysts can develop in anyone, they are seen most often in young women.
A ganglion cyst may diminish on its own, but this may not happen quickly, and they can recur. A patient may be tempted to immobilize their ankle with a brace, but overdoing this will weaken the joint. In our office, we can safely drain a troublesome cyst, and may also inject it with a steroid to combat inflammation. If a cyst continues to cause trouble, it may be possible for us to remove it surgically. However, another good reason to get an apparent cyst examined is that it may not actually be something so benign, in which case it will be better to get it identified early.
Knoxville Footcare is located at 1932 Alcoa Highway Building C, Suite 480, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37920. Visit us at Knoxville Footcare or call 865-632-5700.