Even podiatrists are not immune from foot problems.  For the past six months, I’ve been dealing with a bump on top of my right foot that suddenly appeared while attending (of all places) a podiatry conference!  It was a hot and humid summer in Miami and I just had to walk to the nearest drug store in my sandals.  I still remember how the shoe strap rubbed against a tendon on my sweating foot as I walked down the steaming sidewalk.  The next day, I had the honor of diagnosing my own foot bump as a ganglion cyst.

what is a ganglion cyst by podiatrist Dr. Rosemarie Caillier

Ganglions are small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) that often appear on the tops of hands and wrists.  They can also appear on feet, ankles, knees, and shoulders.  These sacs grow out tendons and joints where they collect fluid.   Ganglion cysts can be small or about the size of a marble.


We do not know exactly the cause of ganglions.  They may be linked to:

  • Irritation or overusing a tendon
  • Injury
  • Arthritis


Ganglion cysts are not cancerous and often go away on their own.  They are usually painless.  But, if they become a problem, you can try the following.

  • Gently massage them often to help move the fluid out of the sac.
  • Rest your feet to help relieve the irritated tendon or joint.
  • Have it drained (aspirated) by a doctor to remove some of the fluid.
  • Talk to your doctor about having it surgically removed if it continues to be painful.

What you should NOT do is smash it yourself.  These cysts were once called “Bible Cysts” because people would smash it using a Bible.  I had a college friend who would hit his ganglion with a text book.  Unfortunately, it always came back.  So whether you use a text book or the Good Book, hitting it is not a good idea.

As for me and the bump on my foot, I’ve avoided pain by wearing shoes that will not irritate it.  Hopefully it will just completely go away on its own.