A plantar fibroma is a benign, noncancerous nodule that grows in the arch of your foot. It develops in the plantar fascia, the thick, fibrous tissue at the bottom of your foot. This tissue covers the area from your heel to your toes and stabilizes your foot arch. The exact cause of plantar fibromas is unknown but many experts believe that they begin with small tears in your plantar fascia from a trauma. The nodules develop as a result of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears. Recent studies suggest that plantar fibromas may also be genetically inherited.
Common symptoms of fibromas are pain and discomfort, especially when wearing shoes. Unfortunately, fibromas will not go away without treatment. If your podiatrist determines that a plantar fibroma is the source of your problem there are several non-surgical treatments available. Options can include topical gels, corticosteroid injections to help reduce pain and decrease the size of the nodule and custom orthotics for comfort and cushioning. In severe cases surgery may be needed to remove the nodule. Plantar fibromas are diagnosed through examination and imaging such as MRIs and X-rays. It is important to be examined by a podiatrist if you notice any new growths or masses to rule out more serious conditions.
Reviewed by Daniel Perez, D.P.M., AACFAS
Dr. Perez is a fellowship trained foot & ankle surgeon specializing in ankle arthroscopy, total ankle replacement, advanced trauma and complex reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He has additional focus in charcot reconstruction, general podiatry, wound care and sports medicine.