I’d like to share a tale of two patients of mine. Both came in with a similar concern. But it ended up being two different things. Even so, the treatment was similar and result in both cases was fantastic.
Both of these patients came in with a bump on top of the foot. In one case it was a hard lump that gradually got bigger. It was becoming difficult to find shoes to wear that didn’t irritate the bump. The other patient had a softer, squishier bump on top of her foot. But it was also getting bigger. And it hurt to wear shoes.
So, here’s the thing. There are many conditions that happen with our feet that can be caused by different things. In the case of our patient with the hard, painful lump, it was a bone spur that formed in the middle of her foot. The soft bump was a ganglion cyst that formed in the tendon on top of the foot. Both made it difficult to wear shoes. Both were painful. Both were successfully treated with a short outpatient surgery.
A bone spur develops for a number of reasons including:
- Foot mechanics
- Injury or Trauma
The bone spur builds up over a joint and forms a point on top of the foot. This results in pressure on top of the foot when you’re wearing shoes.
There are non-surgical ways to treat a bone spur. One way is to change the lacing patterns of your shoes to keep the pressure off of it. Sometimes a cortisone injection will manage the inflammation and pain. The only way to remove the bone spur is with a surgical procedure. During the surgery, I shave down the prominent bone spur and make it flush with the rest of the bone. It is a very quick and minimally invasive surgery.
Like a bone spur, a ganglion cyst can also form because of trauma. The cyst forms in the tendon sheath on top of the foot. It is a soft tissue sac that fills with a thick, viscous fluid. The pressure on the cyst can cause pain in shoes.
There are also non-surgical treatments for a ganglion cyst. Like a bone spur, changing lacing patterns and a cortisone injection may be helpful. It’s also possible to drain the cyst in the office. This works about 50% of the time. When it doesn’t work, the cyst fills up with fluid again. It is then that we entertain surgery to remove the cyst.
The surgery to remove a bone spur and ganglion cyst is done on an outpatient basis at a surgery center. After the surgery, you’ll have a dressing on your foot protecting the sutures. You’ll be wearing a surgical shoe. But you can bear full weight on your foot without the use of crutches. The stitches come out in about two weeks and then you can return to wearing your regular shoes.
Only this time, without the painful bump on top of your foot, your shoes will feel much more comfortable. Just like both of our patients in this story.
If you’ve read this and realized that you also have a painful bump on the top of your foot, contact us for an immediate appointment. The procedure is quick and the recovery is simple. Now’s the perfect time to get out of pain.