Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Footstrap-Induced Ganglion Cyst

**UPDATE- I went to the podiatrist. He said there was a bit of a cyst associated with the bump, but that most of it was a bone growth that would require surgery to remove. I think I will wait until the end of the windy season to schedule the surgery.**

**Begin orginal post**

You know the bony knob on the top of the bridge of your foot? It's barely noticeable on most people, but one of mine became enlarged and painful after some hard windsurfing a few weeks ago. It stopped hurting after a couple days off the water but remained creepily enlarged. It felt icky when I put it back in the strap, and worried me enough that I decided to consult the experts- my coworkers, facebook friends, and the iwindsurf.com discussion forum.

There were multiple theories. For a while the leading one was that it was a bone growth analogous to the "surf knots" that surfers sometimes get on their knees or hip bones, depending on how they paddle. The prospect of a permanent or semi-permanent bone deformity worried me. But then someone on the iwindsurf.com forum identified it as a "Ganglion Cyst", which is some kind of fluid-filled irritation of the tendons and connective tissue around a joint that may be initiated by stress to that area.

After some poking at the bump and comparing it to the gross pictures on wikipedia, I think Ganglion Cyst is most likely what it is, although it could be some combination of ganglion cyst and surfer knot. The particular footstraps that aggravated it were the rather stiff and thin straps on a 2005 Starboard Evo 83. I moved those straps to a board I rarely sail and put some cushier straps on the Evo. We'll see if that's enough to let the cyst heal. If not I'll look for a doc in Fort Pierce on my insurance plan who can drain the thing. Woo hoo!

Pictures: The offending footstraps and the offended foot (on the right). Can you see the bump?


Scott said...

I love my Dakine Supremo footstraps. Very cushiony, and easy to get into and out of. Expensive, but worth every cent.

Hope you get better quickly! Until then, ice, ibuprofin and rest. :-)

Catapulting Aaron said...

I guess you won't be wearing sandals on any of your dates in the near future.

Dakine Contours, imo. They're not adjustable, so if you go booties/no booties in different spots, it might be a hassle. That said, they don't have thick pads, but remain the most comfortable and stable straps I've ever used.

ralph said...

I'm not a fan of the starboard/drake straps either.

Dakine X lace on my short boards
Dakine Contours on my formula board

Jacob said...

Hey champ. I used to have recurring ganglion cysts on both of my wrists (top-side, like the image at the bottom of the Wikipedia article).

They were pretty freakin' irritating/debilitating, and in my experience, took a long-ass time to heal au naturale (years). I'd loose my marbles if I had them on my feet in contact with my straps.

I wouldn't wait too long before consulting a physician...

Best of luck.

Johnny Douglass said...

See a doctor. He'll probably need to take your tonsils out.

James Douglass said...

Scott- I had those on my previous high wind board. They're aptly named, because they're definitely the best straps I've ever used.

Aaron- Sandals might be the only thing that fits my feet. I'll just wear bell-bottom trousers to cover the bump.

Ralph- Yeah, I'm realizing now that comfortable footstraps are important for more than just being comfortable.

Jacob- I'm going to the doctor on Tuesday. Hopefully I'll be cured before too long. In the meantime I'm still windsurfing, but with loosened straps.

Dad- Noooooooooo! The horror!