As you’re putting your socks on one day, you notice a lump in your foot. Don’t panic. While all lumps on your feet should be promptly checked out by a foot doctor, there’s a good chance that you may have a benign condition that we treat regularly at Texas Foot Specialists: plantar fibroma.
What’s the Lump?
A plantar fibroma is a fibrous nodule or knot that forms in the arch of your foot. It embeds itself within the long band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel known as the plantar fascia. Doctors do not fully know what causes this abnormal growth. A plantar fibroma can develop in one or both feet. It may grow in size and will not go away or shrink without treatment. Although some patients do not experience any pain from this condition, if the fibroma grows it can start to cause discomfort when wearing shoes or even when standing barefoot.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine if your lump is a plantar fibroma, our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller or Dr. Gregory Mangum, will examine your foot and manipulate the area where the lump is. The foot doctor may also order an MRI or a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible conditions.
The only way to eliminate a plantar fibroma is through surgery. This is not without risk, however, and if the fibroma is not impeding your ability to walk or causing you great pain, the foot doctor will most likely opt for one or more of these conservative treatment options:
- Steroid injections—injecting the fibroma with corticosteroid medications may help reduce the size of the mass. The reduction may be just temporary, however, and the fibroma may grow back to its original size over time.
- Physical therapy—can also be used to decrease inflammation.
- Orthotics—a custom orthotic device to use inside your shoe may be prescribed to shift your weight away from the fibroma and thereby reduce pressure on the mass, making it more comfortable to walk.
Remember, any lump on your foot should be seen by the foot doctor as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment at our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Houston (713) 664-6677 or Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 office, contact us today.