What are These Lumps on the Bottom of My Foot?

Author: Foot & Ankle Center of Washington

Today we're going to talk about lumps on the bottom of the arch. And most people that do get lumps on the bottom of the arch get them in this area here. Hopefully you don't have a big hole like this one right here, we'll talk about that in a different video. But there is one common problem that causes lumps in the arch and that's a problem called plantar fibromatosis or plantar fibromis, they're the same thing. So the plantar fascia is this thick ligament right here, runs from the heel up to the toes. And when you get lumps on the bottom of your arch it's usually because there's some thickening along this band of tissue. Nobody's quite sure exactly why it occurs, it's probably minor trauma, it may be a tear in that fascia that eventually heals and has some scarring. And that's what actually forms the lump.

You can get one or two of them, you can get many of them, you can get one large one. There does seem to be a genetic component to this. Many people that get lumps in the arch will also get some lumps or tightening in the palm of their hand, or there is a family connection. So we'll talk now about how to treat this problem. It's treated fairly conservatively in most cases.

Our primary goal first of all is to stop the arch from flattening out so much because when the arch flattens, the plantar fascia gets stretched. So we'll usually use some sort of arch support or orthotic underneath the arch to protect it. So usually we like to have one that conforms close to the arch of the foot to take the most tension off of the plantar fascia. However, if you've got lumps along the arch here, then we often have to modify the orthotic and put some accommodation in there. Basically a divot in the orthotic to accommodate those areas. So we do a pretty specialized orthotic for this problem.

We really want to take pressure off of those lumps, or off of those fibromas. The other way we can treat this is to do an injection into the fibroma, a certain type of a steroid that works pretty well. It doesn't work all of the time but it works about 60% of the time to make the fibroma smaller. Surgery is not usually a very good choice for this problem. It doesn't really work very well and there's a great tendency for them to return. We find there has to be so much tissue taken off to get rid of the fibroma that that leads to other problems.

What are These Lumps on the Bottom of My Foot?

It leads to weakening in the plantar fascia and that can lead to flattening of the foot. And so we really want surgery to be a very, very last resort. Make sure you don't rush into surgery, and if somebody's recommending that to you, make sure you get a second opinion. I'd recommend seeing a podiatrist that specializes in biomechanics and orthotic therapy. If you're in our area call us, make an appointment. This is probably not something you want to treat on your own. We can do a much better job for you. If you do want to try and treat it yourself, then go to our website and do a search for over the counter arch supports, over the counter orthotics and you'll want to get one that conforms pretty close to the arch.

They won't work as well as a custom device, but they will help quite a bit. Again I would recommend seeing a podiatrist that specializes in orthotic therapy for this problem.

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