A plantar fibroma is a benign nodule that grows on the bottom of the foot that usually appears in adults. It is typically slow growing and measures less than an inch in size. More invasive, rapid-growing and multiplanar fibromas are considered plantar fibromatosis. Both are benign tumors made up of cells found in ligaments called fibrocytes. Fibromas can also occur in the palmar fascia of the hands – often called trigger finger.
Symptoms consist of a painful mass on the bottom of the foot, roughly in the middle of the arch. The mass may be painful with pressure or shoe wear. The cause is unknown but is thought to have a genetic component. Trauma to the foot does not seem to be a factor. Plantar fibromas reside in the deep fascia of the foot between the skin and the first (superficial) layers of muscle. Asymptomatic fibromas may be left untreated, whereas painful fibromas may be treated with an off-loading insole, anti-inflammatory injection, or surgical excision as a last resort.
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