What is plantar fibroma?
A plantar fibroma is a nodular non-cancerous growth on the bottom of the foot usually presenting in adults. It is usually slow growing and usually measures less than an 2-3 cm in size. When multi-planar fibromas are present the condition is referred to as plantar fibromatosis.
Symptoms consist of a arch pain with and without shoes which is worse with activity.
What causes plantar fibroma to occur?
Repetitive trauma can be a factor, however, there seems to be a genetic predisposition.
Plantar fibromas forms along the course of the plantar fascia which is a supportive structure similar to a long ligament.
How are they diagnosed?
Biopsy is rarely needed. It needs to be noted that cancerous growths in the foot arch are very rare but can have a similar appearance to plantar fibromas, therefore, the condition needs to be examined and ofter radiographs and MRI are necessary to fully evaluate the mass. Cysts, nerve tumors, and fat tumors also need to be excluded.
Asymptomatic fibromas may be observed. Painful fibromas may be treated with an accomodating custom orthotics. However, carefully placed corticosteroids remain the best treatment to reduce bulk. Surgery is rarely performed.
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