A ganglion is an enlargement of soft tissue that presents itself as a lump on top of the foot. Sometimes, a ganglion stems from a tendon sheath or a joint out-pouching and contains the same time of gelatinous material as we find lubricating these structures. Ganglions can come and go, depending on pressure from shoes and other factors. They only present as a problem if they are persistent and cause rubbing in pressure areas. Any enlargement of the soft tissue around the foot and ankle that appears over a period of time and is new to the patient should be evaluated by a podiatrist.
Sometimes, the enlargement turns out to be a different type of lesion, including lipoma (fatty tissue) or fibroma (thick, fibrous, structural tissue). Your doctor may recommend imaging studies before planning any removal or biopsy. A thorough history and physical will dictate any planned intervention.