What is Growing on my Little Toe?

Oct 25, 2017


… a mucoid cyst!

Growths, or cysts, on the little toes are a somewhat common problem that we see here in the office. Most often these appear in middle aged and elderly people, and more often than not they occur in women. These pesky nodules can cause a lot of pain in shoe gear or if they are touched.
They are similar to a Ganglion Cysts in that a stalk from the underlying joint capsule allows a balloon or sac to fill with fluid. If the underlying stalk isn’t removed the cyst will likely come back. Ganglion cysts (a group of benign masses) are common throughout the foot, but on the toes the cyst is often referred to as a mucoid, myxoid, or mucous cyst and are typically smaller than other ganglion cysts.
The cyst is often somewhat translucent, like a blister, but unlike a blister they are difficult to ‘pop’ because the tissue is deeper. Although they may sometimes drain, these cysts often remain intact (think of a deflated balloon) under the skin.
There are two primary treatment options, Draining – A mucoid cysts can be drained in the office and a compressive dressing applied but unfortunately they often will recur. They will often drain a thick, yellow fluid or even cause a sore or ulcer if the top is removed. Surgery – Surgical excision is more effective because it allows us to get a wide and appropriate resection of the cyst. If the cyst recurs after a surgical excision then the underlying joint may need to be fused in order to prevent recurrence.

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