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Soft Tissue Mass (e.g Ganglion Cyst)

Soft Tissue Mass (e.g Ganglion Cyst)

Usually, simple wear and tear on a particular tendon or joint is the cause of a ganglion.

Ganglion Foot Cyst

The most common soft tissue growth found in the body/foot is a ganglion cyst which is not cancerous.

Typically forming off a joint capsule or tendon sheath, the growth is a gel-filled cyst.

If you have a cyst on the top of your toes just behind the toenail, this is known as a mucinous cyst (myxoid cyst).


Although the exact causes are unknown, usually simple wear and tear on a particular tendon or joint is believed to be the cause of a ganglion. If you have a mucinous cyst it may be due to some degenerative joint disease (arthritis) in the last joint of the affected toe.

Usually not painful, but ganglion cysts can be irritated by shoe pressure against a nearby nerve.

Diagnosis of a ganglion (or mucinous cyst) is typically made by examination. Dr Kim will examine where the ganglion is located and you may require an ultrasound that is also done in the clinic.


Close monitoring: if ganglions are not causing pain or interfering with movement, it may be left alone. The cyst may simply disappear on its own or change in size.

Needle aspiration: one of the tests to diagnose ganglion involves an aspiration of the fluid with a fine needle. In many cases (around 50%) this treatment empties the cyst and no further treatment is needed.

Before & After Photos

G Cyst
G cyst 2
G Cyst 0523


The cyst is surgically removed (excised).

When to consider surgery?

Surgery is advised if non-surgical treatment fails.

Ganglion Cyst Surgery

The excision surgery involves removal of the mass and a small amount of the tissue of origin. This can be performed safely under local anaesthetic. For those patients who do not like the thought of needles, the procedure can be performed as day surgery under general or twilight anaesthetic.

Although you are allowed to walk on your foot after surgery (in a post-operative shoe) it is best to completely rest your foot and elevation is encouraged in the first 1 – 2 weeks following surgery.


Full recovery usually takes around 3-4 weeks, and sports activities may resume around this time.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Podiatric Surgeon Dr Kim is the leading surgeon for Foot Surgery in Brisbane and Gold Coast, contact him today for a consultation regarding a ganglion cyst.

No referral needed

Contact Us

A GP referral is welcome however it is not essential for your appointment


Dr Ji Soo Kim (Specialist Podiatric Surgeon) BPodM, DClinPod, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)

Book Appointment

Dr Kim has two offices, one located in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. The other is in Southport, Gold Coast.

Please call 1300 522 096

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