Lump At The Bottom Of Your Foot? It Could Be…

No one likes finding a lump where there wasn’t a lump before, but if you wake up one day and discover a knobby bump on the bottom of your foot don’t worry: it’s most likely a benign nuisance called a plantar fibroma.  Typically occurring in the arch of the foot, the rubbery, fibrous fibroma is basically a knot of tissue that has grown around the plantar fascia, the thick ligament that connects your heel to your toes.  Of course, any sudden change in your feet ought to be looked at by your doctor, but your podiatrist will most likely be able to set your mind at ease.

The good news is that surgery is rarely necessary to control a plantar fibroma.  So what can you do?

  • Make good shoe choices: When a plantar fibroma is painful it’s usually because the lump is being compressed by a shoe. The solution may be as simple as finding more comfortable footwear.
  • Stretching Exercises: Calf raises, toes stretches and towel stretches a few times a day, and rolling your foot over a frozen water bottle can help provide relief.
  • Get the right orthotics: The next line of defense could be a soft, custom-made shoe insert that will accommodate this change in the shape of the bottom of your foot.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide short-term relief. (A word of caution: don’t come to rely on them every day because long-term use can cause other complications.) Or your doctor may also suggest a prescription medication called topical verapamil.
  • Ice, rest, and elevation: Even if the lump is not normally painful you may still feel some discomfort after you’ve been standing for a long time, or if you’ve been wearing restrictive shoes. Lie down and prop your foot up on some pillows so it is above heart level. For even more relief wrap some ice in a dishtowel and place the ice pack against the arch of your foot.
  • Get a corticosteroid shot: A steroid injection directly into the fibroma—your doctor can do it right there in the office–will shrink the lump and keep it under control for a month or more. The steroids will not stop the lump from growing and eventually the lump will return to its former size but in the meantime, the injection will give you some relief. Discuss with your doctor how often you can safely get an injection.

 

For more information about foot health or to make an appointment with one of Triad Foot & Ankle Center’s highly skilled podiatrists, please call 336.375.6990 or click here to request an appointment at one of our four office locations.

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