What to Know About That Cyst on the Bottom of Your Foot

September 4, 2023 • mdconnect • foot carefoot conditionsfoot painfoot wear
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Whether you work on your feet all day or sit at a desk, you know most people will experience foot pain in their lifetimes. But developing a cyst bottom foot out of nowhere seems strange to you. That cyst on the bottom of your foot may cause discomfort. Or maybe it’s something you only became aware of while massaging your feet, so you looked up “cyst bottom foot.” Either way, we want to get one fear out of the way. It’s probably not cancer. Here’s what it’s more likely to be.

What is a cyst bottom foot?

A cyst is a sac of fluid that’s not supposed to be there. Cysts form because of injury, infection, or clogged oil glands, as with acne cysts. The most common cysts are on the surface of the skin. But cysts can happen on the joints, tendons, and ligaments, too! These musculoskeletal structures can produce excess fluid. This often leads to a ganglion cyst on the ankles or feet.

Symptoms of a ganglion cyst on the bottom of your foot

If that’s a ganglion cyst, you may have these experiences. However, they do overlap with other foot cyst symptoms.
  • A lump you can feel on the top or bottom of your foot—and sometimes the ankle
  • A dull ache near the lump. The lump may not hurt. But it’s pressing on other structures.
  • Tingling or burning as the lump presses on nerves
  • Irritation or redness when wearing shoes, depending on where it is
  • Pain when you step or flex your feet.
  • In other cases, you may barely know it’s there.
Women are more likely than men to develop these. A 2018 study found women are more likely to experience foot pain in general. And it’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for women in their 20s-40s to develop these.

What causes cysts on the bottom of the foot

The exact cause is often unknown. They may develop randomly or after foot trauma, such as stepping barefoot on a sharp rock. However, some factors may increase your risk of developing them.
  • A history of foot tendon or joint injury.
  • Having osteoarthritis, which leads to a host of inflammatory and structural symptoms.
  • Genetics, so you may want to ask your grandparents, parents, siblings, aunt, etc., about theirs.

Could that cyst be something else?

As doctors, we learn to first focus on (and rule out) the most likely diagnosis. This leads to the fastest care and best outcomes for most patients. But a cyst bottom foot could be other things.

Synovial cysts

Synovial cysts are also non-cancerous and appear on the tendons and joints. But these are filled with synovial (joint) fluid and can signify a more severe joint problem.

Plantar fibroma cysts

If that cyst is in the arch of your foot, it could be a plantar fibroma. The big difference here is that these grow on your plantar fascia. Fascia is a latticework of supportive cells found throughout the body. The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot as it connects the heel to the toes. While ganglion cysts may go away independently, plantar fibroma cysts will always need intervention if they cause you pain or mobility issues.

How to treat foot cysts

If the cyst is minor, it may resolve itself with some slight modifications. You can try wearing only comfortable shoes, applying warm compresses, and taking OTC painkillers if you have pain. It may also help to reduce mobility in the area by splinting the foot for a few days. Running a marathon right now should definitely be off your list of activities. If the above home remedies don’t work, it’s time to see a doctor to verify what kind of cyst this is; we can develop a treatment plan. Rest assured, you probably don’t need surgery. The first intervention is minimally invasive and involves trying to drain the cyst in the office in a sterile setting if the cyst is causing pain or mobility issues and doesn’t go away. Even if the cyst is benign, untreated cysts can lead to worsening conditions, infection (if popped), and unnatural walking patterns, which can cause ankle, knee, hip, and back pain.

Banish cyst foot pain!

You don’t have to learn to live with foot pain. Simple solutions like having a professional safely drain a cyst can often fix it. Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group specialists offer the latest treatment techniques to resolve foot issues like cysts, bunions, and plantar fasciitis. Contact us today for a consultation.

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Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.

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