Cyst in the foot: a quick operation

Discomfort due to a cyst in the foot? An operation can be considered. Doctor Julien Lopez can accompany you during all the stages of the procedure.

The cartilage present in the human body allows the bones to perform movements and thus to slide at the joints. This soft tissue lines the bone surfaces and the synovial fluid allows lubrication. A certain viscosity can be maintained within these joints thanks to the synovial membrane.

In case of trauma to the front of the foot, a fragility can be created that can cause a rupture of these membranes present in the metatarsals of the foot. The synovial fluid then spreads and creates a nodule. We usually speak of an «arthro-synovial cyst». It can grow gradually over time until it becomes very annoying. The foot rubs in the shoe which can be painful leading to a consultation.

Foot cysts can also be squamous, localized in the epidermis of the foot. They occur because of a skin pore obstruction or trauma.

If left untreated, they cause pain due to friction with shoes, irritation and even sometimes loss of sensitivity and sensations of strokes or electric shocks. In addition, they may return several months later if no action is taken. Doctor Julien Lopez accompanies you throughout the process with personalized support and the implementation of nonoperative or surgical treatments according to your situation.

Synovial foot cyst treatments without surgery

Treatments for the synovial cyst of the foot can be performed in a medical office without necessarily needing surgery.

First of all, the choice of your shoes is essential. If the size of your foot bothers you and you do not stop thinking about it, comfortable shoes of a certain width will allow you to think less about it and avoid pain due to friction.

In practice, the management of an arthro-synovial cyst of the foot with a puncture treatment can be achieved. A syringe is used to drain the liquid in the nodule. Cortisone can also be injected or bandages can be used to compress it and thus get rid of this mucoid cyst of the foot, without surgical treatment.

In case these actions are ineffective, the specialist will ask you a set of questions about the causes of the occurrence of this cyst, the discomfort felt on a daily basis as well as your medical history. A medical examination will also be carried out to determine whether you are eligible for the operation or whether it is better to continue non-surgical treatments. If you are diabetic or your plantar hygiene is not optimal, you are at greater risk of infections and complications due to this benign size. Surgery may then be considered.

The synovial cyst of the foot: a necessary operation?

For a synovial cyst of the foot, an operation is sometimes necessary in case of ineffectiveness of medical treatments or if it really bothers you by its growing size. This operation is performed under local anesthesia with almost no pain. Indeed, when the cysts are on the toes, the operation is facilitated by the accessibility of the cyst and the fineness of the skin. Just putting your foot to sleep is enough and will allow you to recover faster.

The course of an operation of the synovial cyst of the foot

How does a synovial foot cyst surgery work? The average duration of surgery for a foot cyst is 30 minutes and it only requires half a day of hospitalization (outpatient surgery).

The stages of this surgery are as follows:

  • Release nerves near the cyst
  • Nodule incision
  • Extraction of the cyst
  • Send cyst to anatomopathological analysis for definitive diagnosis
  • Stitches to close the skin

Dressings must be changed every two days and a visit to your surgeon must be arranged within 3 weeks to check the condition of your foot. Indeed, support is necessary following this operation to avoid possible complications.

After this surgery, you will not need to immobilize your foot. However, it is advisable to wear shoes combining comfort and width, sports practices should be stopped for 3 weeks and you should avoid driving for at least 2 days. The main risk of surgery is recurrence. It is essential to respect a rest period of 2 to 3 weeks and avoid using the foot too much. In addition, a stopping work from between 2 to 4 weeks may also be considered. The length of time you are away from work depends on your occupation, the size of the cyst, its location and your medical history.

Like any operation, risks exist and include:

  • Difficulties in healing
  • Wounds or sections of nerves during the operation that may cause partial or total sensory deficits
  • Infection (rarely severe)
  • Rare chronic pain
  • Recurrence of the cyst

Doctor Julien Lopez, specialized in foot surgery, is here to answer your questions and to direct you towards the necessary treatments and surgical options according to your situation.