A plantar fibroma (sometimes called plantar fibromatosis) is a benign growth or nodule in the arch of the foot. It is found in the plantar fascia (a thick ligament which runs along the bottom of the foot from the toes to the heel).
A plantar fibroma can develop in one or both feet. It can remain the same size or get larger over time, or additional fibromas may develop.
What does a plantar fibroma feel like?
The characteristic sign of a plantar fibroma is a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that feels firm to the touch. There may or may not be pain. If pain is present, this is more likely to be felt when shoes push up against the lump in the arch, but may also be felt when walking or standing barefoot.
What causes a plantar fibroma?
The cause of plantar fibromas is still not clearly understood, however it is thought that trauma caused by over-stretching of the plantar fasciitis may result in the formation of fibromas.
How is a plantar fibroma treated?
Orthotics are often recommended for effective treatment of a plantar fibroma. Orthotics can help to reduce tension on the plantar fascia and reduce pressure on the lump (fibroma) in the arch of the foot.
If conservative treatment is not successful, the option of surgically removing the fibroma may be considered, however a significant side effect of this surgery is the potential for weakness/ flattening of the arch of the foot.