Plantar fibroma is a fiber-like knot in the foot arch. It is implanted inside the plantar fascia which is a tissue band that starts at the heel all the way up the toes at the foot base. A plantar fibroma might form in only one or both feet and usually benign and does not settle or get smaller without treatment. The precise cause for the condition has not yet been fully identified.
The distinctive indication of plantar fibroma is an evident lump in the foot arch that feels firm when touched. The mass might stay the same size or grow over time or additional fibromas might form.
Individuals with a plantar fibroma may or might not have any discomfort or pain. Once pain arises, it is frequently triggered by shoes that drive at the protuberance in the foot arch, but can also occur while walking or standing barefoot.
How is it diagnosed
When diagnosing a plantar fibroma, the doctor will assess the foot and press on the affected site. Oftentimes, this can trigger pain that radiates to the toes. A biopsy or MRI might be required to further assess the lump and aid with a diagnosis.
Management of plantar fibroma
The conservative measures can help reduce the pain from a plantar fibroma, but it will not help the mass disappear. The doctor might choose one or several of the following measures:
- Orthotic devices – for a stable fibroma that does not change in size, customized orthotics or shoe inserts can be used to reduce the pain by evenly distributing the weight away from the fibroma.
- Steroid injections – a corticosteroid injection is administered into the mass to allow it to shrink and reduce the pain while walking. The reduction in size might only be brief and the fibroma could steadily grow back to its original size.
- Physical therapy
In case the mass continues to grow or the pain intensifies, the individual should undergo further evaluation.
Surgery that involves removal of the fibroma is likely if the individual continues to suffer from pain after using the conservative measures. The extraction of the plantar fibroma might result to the flattening of the foot arch or formation of hammertoes.
Orthotic devices are prescribed to ensure support to the foot. There is a need for follow-up consultation with the doctor due to the high rate of recurrence of the condition.