It is uncomfortable to stand on a small stone or other hard object. As it presses into the bottom of your foot, it causes aches and pain. Usually people shake the stone out of their shoes or adjust how they’re standing to change the uncomfortable pressure. When the problem is the result of a condition like a plantar fibroma, however, simply changing your position will not help.
Solid Tissue Lumps
A plantar fibroma is a small nodule that develops on your plantar fascia—the connective tissue that spans the length of your sole. The mass is fibrous and non-cancerous. It creates a lump on the bottom of your foot, usually under the arch, that is fairly firm to the touch. This bump may or may not grow bigger over time, or develop additional little tumors.
As they grow larger, they are more likely to cause discomfort. The bumps may press against your footwear—or even the ground if you’re barefoot and hurt. They can also impair some toe movement, making it more difficult to bend your digits. All this can make it painful to walk around and wear many types of shoes. Although no one knows what causes these growths to develop in the first place, they are more common the older you are. You’re also more likely to develop them if they run in your family.
Reducing the Pressure
A plantar fibroma does not get better without intentional treatment. If you’re already experiencing discomfort from the lump, you’ll need specialized help to manage the condition and encourage the growth to shrink down. Our podiatrists will evaluate the nodules and rule out other possible conditions. Our expert staff may need diagnostic images, like diagnostic ultrasound, X-rays or MRIs, to identify the lump and measure its size. Then we can begin a plan for relieving your discomfort.
First, you will need to minimize the pressure directly on the fibroma. This may help shrink the mass over time, though it may not completely eliminate it. Changing your shoes may be an important part of this. Invest in footwear that doesn’t press strongly into the center of your sole or alter your gait. You may still need orthotics or pads. Padding the foot and using orthotics that control your mechanics can change where the pressure strikes the lower limbs when you step, reducing some pressure.
We may also recommend medications to help decrease irritation in the plantar fascia. If these conservative methods are not effective for managing your discomfort, you may need more invasive therapies, like direct injections of medications. These cortisone shots typically decrease the size of the mass, but they also run the risk of making the problem worse. Surgery to excise the growth is considered a final option. Though it does eliminate the lump, it may not prevent the fibroma from recurring.
If you’re struggling with painful growths on the bottoms of your feet, you’re not alone. Plantar fibromas affect many people every year. The good news is that the lumps do not have to cause you pain. Don’t wait to seek help—investigate your options today. To make an appointment with the doctors at Country Foot Care you can call either of our offices to speak to our staff or you can use our online MAKE AN APPOINTMENT form via the button at the top of this page.