Finding a lump in your foot can be alarming. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, patients are relieved when we tell them a fibrous knot in the arch of their foot is a plantar fibroma, which is not malignant. This nodule develops in the plantar fascia—the long ligament that stretches along the bottom of your foot from the toes to the heel. Doctors don’t really know what causes plantar fibromas, but like any abnormal growth in the foot, it needs to be evaluated and treated appropriately.
If you have discovered a lump in the arch of your foot, our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will want to examine your foot and may take a biopsy and order an MRI or other imaging studies to diagnose a plantar fibroma and rule out other possibilities.
A plantar fibroma will not go away on its own. Treatment will depend on whether it is stable or growing in size, and also how much pain and discomfort it is causing. If the fibroma is not causing any pain, the foot doctor may just monitor it. Pain from a fibroma is usually caused by shoes pressing on it. Nonsurgical treatment options are aimed at relieving this pain and may include:
- Steroid injections. A steroid injected into the fibroma may shrink it a bit and thereby reduce the pain associated with walking. This relief may only be temporary, however, as the fibroma can grow back to its original size.
- Physical therapy. Certain techniques can be used to reduce inflammation.
- Orthotic devices. If the fibroma seems to be staying the same size, a custom orthotic device can be used inside your shoes to shift weight away from the nodule, thereby alleviating the pressure and pain.
If these conservative methods fail to bring pain relief, surgery may need to be done to remove the fibroma. This is not without risk, however. A flattened arch may result from surgery. Fibromas also have a high incidence of recurrence and for that reason regular checkups with the podiatrist are strongly recommended.
Don’t delay in contacting our Valley Stream (516-825-4070 )or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office if you have discovered a lump in your foot. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment lead to the most successful outcomes.