Abnormal Bumps on the Foot
In order to perform their intended functions of keeping you upright and mobile, your feet are remarkably-structured appendages. There are many components to your lower limbs, including all of the respective bones, blood vessels, muscles, and connective tissues. With so many parts, there is a lot of room for issues to happen, like when you develop a foot cyst, or abnormal bump on your foot.
It is important to understand these abnormal bumps so you can know when to be concerned and when you have nothing to worry about. At Dallas Podiatry Works, we can help you understand what is happening if you observe anything out of the ordinary in your feet, and then we will provide the effective care you need.
Let’s start by taking a look at what cysts actually are and the two most common types you might find on your lower limbs. Basically, cysts are sac-like structures or closed capsules that can develop in the body and appear as abnormal bumps or lumps.
Depending on the type of cyst—and there are hundreds of types—the lump can be filled with liquid, jelly-like material, or even a gaseous material in some cases. A cyst will have either a distinct membrane or wall to contain the substance inside. One can grow in virtually any of your body tissues, and their sizes range from microscopic up to large cysts capable of displacing internal organs. The key point to keep in mind, in spite of the variations, is that a cyst is an abnormal formation on your body, but they are usually benign.
As noted, they can develop almost anywhere, but we are mostly concerned with the ones that develop on patients’ feet. There are two types of cysts we usually see:
- Sebaceous (epidermoid) cysts – These cysts are often noncancerous and are distinguished by swelling in the skin. Sebaceous cysts are typically filled with a yellowish, oily secretion from a sebaceous gland and are easy to see. They cause an abnormal swelling of the skin and, when they become larger, can be rather painful and quite unsightly.
- Ganglion (synovial) cysts – You are more likely to have a ganglion cyst develop either along a tendon or near a joint. These growths are typically round and contain a jelly-like substance that is fairly similar to the thick fluid used to lubricate joints and found around tendons.
The good news when it comes to cysts is that most of them are benign. That said, there are some which do contain malignant (cancerous) cells. It is best to have any unusual lumps or bumps on your feet investigated by one of our medical professionals here at Dallas Podiatry Works.
Cyst Removal and Treatment
There are various factors which will determine the course of treatment for a cyst. These include the underlying cause of the growth and whether or not it is causing difficulty or pain. Cysts are not often a major concern, and treatment is typically unnecessary. Issues can arise when large cysts compress normal tissues. When a cyst presses on nerves, for example, you can experience symptoms like tingling or burning sensations, numbness, or pain. In this instance, we would recommend having the cyst removed.
The type of cyst we are dealing with will determine treatment, when it is recommended or deemed necessary. We might use a catheter or needle to drain the substance inside the cyst, which thereby causes it to collapse. At other times, we might recommend surgical intervention to remove the cyst, especially if we have reason to believe it is malignant and a threat to your health.
In order to determine if a cyst is malignant or not, we will likely need to biopsy a piece of the capsule or cyst wall. We might need to also have drained material examined under a microscope to establish whether or not there are cancerous cells.
If you have any questions about foot cysts, would like more information, or need to see an expert medical professional for an abnormal bump on your foot, simply contact Dallas Podiatry Works by calling 972.853.7100 or using our online form. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you in scheduling your appointment with either our Dallas or Plano, TX offices today!