A ganglion is a benign fluid-filled cyst (mass) that typically forms in the soft tissue of the wrist, ankle or top of the foot. It feels like a firm, rubbery lump and is not usually painful unless it grows large enough to rub against the patient’s shoe. There may be a tingling sensation in the toes if the ganglion presses on a nerve in the skin or if the patient taps the lump.
Ganglions occur most often in women aged 25-45. They often form spontaneously (with no underlying cause) when the soft sheath around a tendon or joint swells and fills with mucus, and they can also grow or shrink.
Ganglions only require treatment when they cause significant discomfort. Drainage of the fluid through a needle may relieve symptoms, although the ganglion frequently returns. Surgical removal may then be recommended.