SOFT TISSUE MASS
Cysts (or sometimes referred to as a Ganglion Cyst) are deep, fluid-filled lesions which form deep to the skin. They are usually somewhat circular in appearance. Cysts tend to form on tendons or from joints. Cysts from tendons are usually a result of friction, while cysts from joints are caused by a herniation of joint fluid. Symptoms include discomfort or pain secondary to the pressure placed on the skin by the cyst. Things may worsen with use of shoes or pressure.
Soft Tissue Mass:
A soft tissue mass can originate from pretty much anywhere on the foot. While they may appear and even feel similar to a cyst, soft tissue masses are solid and do not contain fluids within. They are still deep to the skin, but may present as either a soft or hard lump. They are typically caused by some degree of trauma, underlying tumor (usually benign), or may be hereditary. Like a cyst, symptoms typically involve pain with pressure to the area.
Treatment usually begin conservatively with either an aspiration of the cyst/mass (numbed first of course) to hopefully get a better view of internal components, or the placement of topical medication. Samples may also be taken and sent to a lab. Sometimes, surgical excision may be necessary to try and prevent re-occurrence or to obtain a specimen.
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