A condition that we treat fairly often at Foot & Ankle Specialists PC is plantar fibroma. Many of our patients have never heard of this disorder so here are a few questions and answers to help familiarize you with it.
What exactly is a plantar fibroma?
A plantar fibroma is a tumor that grows deep inside the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes.
Are plantar fibromas cancerous?
No, plantar fibromas are benign.
Are plantar fibromas painful?
Some patients with a plantar fibroma do not experience any pain. For others, however, the position and size of the lump cause discomfort when walking due to the pressure placed on the lump by walking. Footwear can cause pain in the arch of the foot as well. If the fibroma continues to grow, it can cause pain in other parts of the foot.
How are plantar fibromas diagnosed?
If you can feel a lump in the arch of your foot or are experiencing pain in this area, one of our podiatrists, Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, Dr. Christine I. Tumele, or Dr. Matthew W.E. Lewin will examine your foot and your arch in particular. Digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Lambertville or Monroe office) will be ordered and possibly an MRI to get a clearer look at what’s going on inside your foot. In some instances the foot doctor will do a biopsy of the lump as well.
Will plantar fibromas go away on their own?
How are plantar fibromas treated?
Treatment options for plantar fibromas fall into two categories: relieving pain and discomfort and removal of the fibroma. The foot doctor may recommend physical therapy or custom orthotics to help shift pressure away from the fibroma. If the fibroma is stable and not growing, this may bring pain relief. Steroid injections and cryosurgery can shrink the size of the fibroma but may only have a temporary affect. Surgery is the only way to actually eliminate a plantar fibroma; however it is not without potential complications.