Treatment for Fluid Filled Cyst or Lump on Toe Joint

A cyst formation on the toe is never a normal development. Any cyst or cyst-like formation on the toe especially one that causes discomfort and pain should be checked by a physician for the correct diagnosis and initiation of the appropriate treatment.

Cyst on Toe

  • Commonly referred to as ganglion cysts.

  • Also known as bible cysts or Gideon cysts because in the past, the cysts were treated by smashing it with a book.

  • Refers to masses of tissues that are filled with fluid resulting in a jelly-like mass.

  • Ganglion cysts are quite common.

  • These cysts are also usually benign.

  • The incidence is more common in women than in men and is also more common in people between the ages of 20 to 40 years old.

  • The size of the ganglion cyst may vary, getting smaller or larger over a period of time.

  • In some cases, ganglion cysts have disappeared only to recur later.

  • The presence of ganglion cysts can make wearing shoes a lot difficult and painful.

  • The symptoms of a ganglion cyst include:

    • Obvious lump on the foot

    • Burning sensation

    • Foot pain

  • The causes of ganglion cysts include:

    • Injury

    • Weakening of a tendon or joint space covering

  • Diagnostics for a ganglion cyst may include:

    • Physical examination – the cyst must move freely underneath the skin surface when it is pressed.

    • Biopsy

    • Imaging tests such as x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound to help rule out conditions such as bone spurs.

  • There is no preventive treatment for ganglion cysts because it has a spontaneous nature.

  • Conservative treatment such as warm compresses only relieves the discomfort but it does not prevent the growth.

Cyst on Toe Joint Treatment

Treatment for a ganglion cyst depends on the severity of the situation.

  • Patients who are asymptomatic

    • Regular follow up check-ups

  • Patients prone to ganglion cyst development

    • Wearing of prescription shoes

    • Placing anti-pressure pads on the lining of the shoes

  • Patients who are symptomatic

    • Aspiration – the cyst fluid is drained and steroid is then injected into the lump to help decrease the inflammation and stop recurrence of cyst formation. A compression bandage is worn to help reduce inflammation.

    • Hyaluronidase – when given together with steroids will increase the cyst cure rate to up to 89% from 57% with cysts healing after just one session.

    • Surgery – a treatment of last resort and only chosen when the cyst is unresponsive to other forms of treatment. The cyst is surgically removed. There is a lower risk of cyst recurrence after surgery. There is little or no downtime after surgery.

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