Lumps and bumps occur on the foot and ankles, but a specific lump that usually occurs on the bottom of the foot in the area of the arch could be a plantar fibroma. It is a benign organized mass or palpable nodule of excess collagen or fibrotic tissue. It is located under the skin, and it feels like a lump or bump under the surface. The cause is unknown, although there may be a genetic disposition to it. It may be also be the body's response in trying to heal micro tears in the plantar fascia, or the tissue that makes up the arch of the foot. It typically occurs in patients between 20 and 70 years old, and it occurs more frequently in diabetic patients. You may have symptoms of pain and discomfort, or you may have no symptoms at all. Many times, you will not even know it is there and it may be an incidental finding if you happen to inspect your foot or have it examined by a specialist.
If this lump does not bother you, then often the doctor will note its location and measurement, and you can both keep track if it is changing in size or shape. Your doctor may even recommend a biopsy to confirm that it in fact is benign tissue and confirm its diagnosis, or order an ultrasound or MRI to confirm its size and depth. If the bump is on a weight-bearing area and it is causing pain, then there are some treatment options available. Conservatively, the area can be accommodated with a Medical Grade Insert or better yet, a Custom Orthotic insert that goes into your shoe to cushion the area. A cortisone injection may help with pain and inflammation, although it this is temporary and the symptoms may recur. If the pain is not relieved, or it is getting bigger in size, then surgical excision is an option as well, followed by custom orthotics.
If you have any questions about a lump or bump on the bottom of your foot, it is best to have it examined by a specialist. Make an appointment with one of our doctors to have your foot examined and to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan to help you with your problem.