Plantar fibromas don’t have anything to do with plants. The word plantar refers to the lower surface of something—the bottom—and a fibroma is a benign growth of tissue or tumor. If you have a bump on your foot on the bottom, under your arch, it could mean you have a plantar fibroma—a benign growth inside the plantar fascia. The thing is, you probably don’t look at the bottom of your foot unless it hurts, so you might not know you have this condition in its early stages.
What Caused This Lump under My Foot?
Researchers aren’t sure, but they seemed to have ruled out trauma. An injury, especially some sort of puncture wound, might cause thickening scar tissue in the area, but not a fibroma. Some think there is a genetic component, which makes some people more likely to develop such a growth than others. Whatever the cause, you will notice a lump under your arch, roughly half way between your heel and the ball of your foot. You can feel it when you rub your fingers over it, and it’s usually visible.
At first, the bump on your foot may or may not be painful, but if it grows larger, your shoes will press against it and cause pain, or it may hurt when you are standing on it, especially on hard surfaces. Pain is not normal; it is a signal that something is not right. If you have pain, visit Harvey R. Danciger, DPM for a thorough evaluation. There are other conditions that result in lumps and bumps, such as cysts, swollen tendons, and infections. In order to get the right treatment, you need a precise diagnosis.
How Plantar Fibromas Are Treated
If there is no pain from the growth, the only treatment is to keep it under observation. Mild pain can often be alleviated with special padding or custom orthotics that off-load the pressure to other areas of your sole. Many times, this is all that is needed to keep the fibroma under control. More intense pain can be treated with laser therapy, pain relievers, or steroid injections. The goal of these treatments is to get rid of the discomfort so you can resume your normal activities.
If the mass continues to grow and these methods do not relieve your pain, surgery may be required. We can try to remove just the nodules, but this is not always possible, and the growths may reappear. In severe cases, a surgery known as Steindler plantar fascial stripping may be necessary. This is a serious procedure, since it means removing the entire plantar fascia so the growths can’t come back. This could result in flattened arches or toe deformities like hammertoe. You would need orthotics designed to support your arch after the surgery and physical therapy to strengthen your muscles.
Take That Bump on Your Foot to an Expert
If you think you may have this problem, set up a consultation with Dr. Harvey Danciger as soon as possible. Early treatment could eliminate the need for surgery. We can try conservative treatments and see how your foot responds. If the pain goes away, great. We can always consider more invasive methods later. Contact our office in Palm Desert, CA, by calling (760) 568-0108 or by filling out an appointment request on our website. We want you to be able to plant your feet firmly without pain!