A plantar fibroma describes a benign (non-cancerous) growth that develops at the bottom of your foot, often in the arch. It develops within the plantar fascia, which is a thick connective tissue band that spans your arch from your heel to all the toes. It is usually slow to increase in size. Plantar fibromatosis describes the growth multiple faster-growing fibromas found in the ligaments at the bottom of the foot. These are also benign and this condition is known as Ledderhose Disease.
While the exact cause of a plantar fibroma is unknown, there are factors that make you more likely to develop a fibroma. These include:
Plantar fibromas present as knots or nodules in the foot and can develop in one or both feet. While fibromas aren’t typically painful, as they grow they can cause pressure on their surrounding tissues and structures which can result in pain and swelling. Other symptoms can include:
Before surgery is considered in more severe cases, conservative measures can help to reduce the discomfort and any pain associated with the fibroma. This includes:
If you suspect you may have a plantar fibroma, see your podiatrist. They will be able to assess and differentiate a fibroma from other conditions such as a cyst, granuloma or a potential malignancy. A management plan will then be created in light of your symptoms and presentation.