Plantar Fibroma Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
A small knot or nodule in the arch of your foot could be plantar fibroma. This rare growth of fibrous tissue is benign but can cause pain and affect your quality of life. Although the causes of this foot condition are unclear, treating it helps relieve symptoms. One of the best ways to prevent foot pain is with PowerStep® orthotics, a recommended form of treatment for plantar fibroma.
Plantar fibromas occur on the plantar fascia, the strong band of tissue that forms your foot arch and connects your heel to your toes. They can develop in one or both feet and are usually less than an inch in size. Most people do not notice these growths until they start to feel arch pain or pressure when wearing shoes.
Those who suffer from frequent foot fibroma growths have a condition called plantar fibromatosis, also known as Ledderhose disease. It is usually diagnosed after you’ve had one plantar fibroma in the past and start to develop more.
Plantar Fasciitis & Plantar Fibromas
People who have plantar fasciitis may or may not develop plantar fibromas. The two conditions aren’t necessarily related, though they do both affect the plantar fascia and can cause pain. Plantar fasciitis involves the ligament becoming inflamed due to overuse and usually results in heel pain.
As the number one podiatrist recommended brand of orthotics for plantar fasciitis, PowerStep helps those suffering from foot or arch pain find relief. Our orthotic insoles, footwear, and stretching devices help ease discomfort and prevent plantar fascia pain.
Not everyone who has plantar fibroma experiences the same symptoms. You may have mild foot arch pain as your shoe presses up against your arch, or you might notice a firm lump about the size of a coin. Here are some general symptoms of plantar fibroma:
- Mild pain or pressure in your foot arch
- A noticeable lump under the skin
- Hard time wearing shoes or walking barefoot
- Feeling of a stone stuck in your shoe
You may not notice plantar fibroma until after you start to feel discomfort in your foot. Therefore, it’s important to visit your doctor anytime you find any new or strange growths or if those growths change in size or shape.
What does Plantar Fibroma Feel Like?
A similar feeling to Morton’s Neuroma only located in your arch, plantar fibromas often feel like you’re walking on a stone or rock that’s stuck in your shoe. If you touch the fibroma, it should feel firm, and you might experience sudden pressure or pain in your foot.
Causes & Risk Factors
Healthcare professionals and researchers have yet to determine what causes plantar fibromas. This leads them to believe that any one person could be at risk. However, research suggests a few potential factors that may identify who is more likely to get plantar fibromas, including those who are:
- Between the ages of 40 and 60
- Of European descent
- Men, who have twice the likelihood of women
- Genetically predisposed
Plantar fibroma causes may vary. However, if you have a member of your immediate family who has or had plantar fibromatosis, you may be more at risk.
How is it Diagnosed?
First, a podiatrist or similar healthcare provider physically examines the affected foot. They may press on the fibroma, which can cause pain in your foot and toes. To rule out other, more severe conditions, they might order imaging tests or a biopsy to help determine the diagnosis.
Treatments for Plantar Fibroma
Plantar fibromas require treatment for pain relief. Most treatment options are non-surgical and involve either over-the-counter medications, steroid injections, orthotic devices, or physical therapy. Plantar fasciitis stretches are useful in reducing and preventing pain while some topical pain relievers help lessen inflammation.
If the growth continues to get bigger despite at-home treatment, then surgery to remove the fibroma may be necessary. Although rare, plantar fibroma surgery is the only way to truly get rid of foot fibroma. Follow-up appointments are essential since removing the growth may cause flat arches or hammertoes.
What Happens If Plantar Fibroma Is Left Untreated?
Cases of plantar fibroma vary by individual. Untreated plantar fibromas may grow bigger over time and cause more severe pain, making it hard to participate in daily activities. Rarely does an untreated fibroma ever become smaller on its own.
Does Plantar Fibroma Go Away on Its Own?
No, plantar fibroma will not go away on its own. The only way to completely get rid of the growth is with surgery, which is more of a last resort. Pain medications, physical therapy, and orthotics for plantar fibroma can greatly reduce symptoms, help minimize the size of the fibroma, and relieve pain.
How Do PowerStep Orthotics Help Plantar Fibroma?
PowerStep orthotic insoles are clinically proven to improve foot function and decrease arch pain. Our firm, yet flexible arch support keeps the plantar fascia stretched, minimizing stress, and reducing inflammation. Wearing arch supporting orthotics, like our podiatrist recommended Pinnacle insoles, or PowerStep Protech® medical orthotics, helps distribute weight away from the plantar fibroma to relieve pressure.
Stretching your foot, ankle, and calf with the UltraFlexx Foot Rocker, wearing the UltraStretch Night Sock, and using a hot/cold therapy wrap can also relieve tension, reduce pressure, and alleviate pain associated with the plantar fascia.
Providing the perfect balance of support and comfort, PowerStep orthotics enhance comfort and relieve pain from heel to toe. The added cushioning and arch support are ideal for helping treat plantar fibroma. By investing in your foot health, you can continue doing the activities you love without the worry or discomfort of plantar fibromas getting in your way.