What is a Plantar Fibroma?
Plantar fibromas are a benign (non-cancerous) thickening of the plantar fascia. They feel like a hard knot on the bottom of the foot. These knots, or nodules, are typically slow growing. They are usually found along the inside arch of the foot, but can grow along any portion of the plantar fascia. The nodules are most often painless, however, some patients do experience pain with plantar fibromas.
Although the exact cause of plantar fibromas is unknown, there is a general consensus that they start with trauma, or small tears, within the plantar fascia. The nodules are the result of the scar tissue that’s formed to heal the tears.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- A hard knot is felt along the bottom of the foot.
- Typically painless nodule that becomes painful with shoe gear or pressure from the floor when walking barefoot.
- Nodule does not involve the skin, but callusing may occur over the top of it.
- Overlying skin is freely moveable.
How is a Plantar Fibroma Treated?
Conservatively, treatment includes Verapamil cream and steroid injections. Custom orthotics can also be made with a special accommodation to offload the nodule or nodules. If these conservative measures fail, painful plantar fibromas can be surgically removed. There is a relatively high recurrence rate associated with removal, however.