A plantar fibroma is a fibrous nodule or mass located on the bottom of the foot, usually in the arch just underneath the skin. It is benign or non-malignant and usually embedded in the ligament of the foot known as the plantar fascia, which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. This mass may or may not be painful. It can remain the same size or increase over time.
A podiatrist can diagnose a plantar fibroma by examining the foot and palpating the affected area. An MRI or biopsy can be used to aid in a more accurate diagnosis.
Plantar fibromatosis usually affects the middle-aged and elderly population but can affect all ages. Men are ten times more likely to acquire it than women. Although an exact cause is unknown , there are some potential causes that play a role in the condition. Some of these causes are trauma to the plantar fascia, genetics, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and chronic liver disease.
There are a few non-surgical treatment options that can be used to decrease the pain associated with this condition. A steroid injection can be used to decrease the size of the mass which would alleviate the pain although the fibroma may return to its original size over time. Orthotics may be used to redistribute the patients weight away from the mass. Physical therapy modalities can be used to deliver anti-inflammatory medication into the fibroma. Transdermal Verapamil Gel has also been used in the treatment of plantar fibromatosis.
If conservative measures fail to improve the patients condition, a surgical removal may be required. If you are experiencing a painful lump in the arch or bottom of your foot, make sure to have it evaluated by a podiatrist.