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Plantar Fibroma / Plantar Fibromatosis

What Is a Plantar Fibroma?

Plantar Fibromas are nodules which grow on the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot. The fibromas are the nodules (lumps) themselves. They normally occur between 50-60 years of age.

Plantar fibromatosis occurs when too many collagen fibres collect in the plantar fascia under the foot. The plantar fascia is long bands of tissue that run along the bottom of your foot. The tissue runs from the heel to the ball of your foot.

It is unclear if plantar fibromas form due to an abnormal healing response or a micro tear in the plantar fascia. It may be strictly a condition of abnormal collagen development. Plantar fibromas are more likely to occur after trauma or injury to the plantar fascia. Patients are predisposed to other connective tissue disorders such as Dupuytren’s disease. Statistically plantar fibromas are more common in men than women. They are more likely to appear at in middle aged or elderly patients, although they can appear at all ages.

Plantar fibromas are benign; that is non-cancerous. They can  increase in size over time.

Plantar fibromas can be painful to touch due to their location. They are commonly located in the medial longitudinal arch of the foot. Due to the location of plantar fibromas, they are susceptible to experiencing pressure from footwear or the ground when weight-bearing.

PLANTAR FIBROMA / PLANTAR FIBROMATOSIS

PLANTAR FIBROMA / PLANTAR FIBROMATOSIS

Planter Fibroma Diagnosis?

There are a number of conditions that may cause soft-tissue masses (nodules) in the foot. These include cysts, tendonitis or tendon ruptures. An X-ray it will show these as calcification.  An MRI shows them as tissue mass.  An x-ray and sometimes an MRI may be required for a diagnosis.

Treatment for plantar fibromas is dependent on the level of discomfort that they cause. If they are pain free, they may only require monitoring. Your podiatrist can assist with offloading the area of the fibroma to reduce  the pressure on them. Surgical intervention is reserved for cases that do not respond to conservative management.