Foot Health

Painful Knot in Arch of Foot

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Painful knot in arch of footOur feet go through a lot and take an awful lot of strain. But sometimes things happen that we simply can’t prevent.

If you’ve had a little bit of foot pain recently and come up with a painful knot in arch of foot, then you might have come down with a specific problem that affects an awful lot of people at some point in their lives. Plantar Fibroma.

What is plantar fibroma?

A plantar fibroma is a painful knot on bottom of foot, that’s caused by a benign nodule or non-cancerous tumor.

Slow growing, most plantar fibroma measure less than an inch in size, and tend to appear in later life, with an increasing chance as you age.

No one knows exactly what causes plantar fibroma, but damage and trauma to the area are not a factor, so the current hypothesis is that the main cause is genetic.

What are the symptoms of a plantar fibroma?

A plantar fibroma is easily recognized by the solid lump of flesh that can be felt in the middle of the arch of the foot, normally around halfway between the heel pad and foot pad.

Over time, this mass can increase in size, or more than one can occur. Instances of plantar fibroma may or may not be painful, but when they are painful, they are generally recognized by a pain in foot arches when walking, or when placed under pressure, ie, when you press on it.

Is plantar fibroma cancerous?

No. Plantar fibroma is a non-cancerous mass and apart from the pain and inconvenience, cause no long-term harm.

How do you treat a plantar fibroma?

Whilst some knots in the arch of your feet will have no effect on your ability to live your life, sometimes a plantar fibroma can have long-term issues.

If you’ve got a bad plantar fibroma that causes you debilitating pain in arch of foot when walking or otherwise, then it may require treatment.  

The standard treatment is therapeutic footwear or insoles that offset the pressure on your foot, as well as physical therapy.

Steroid injections can be used, but their effectiveness is under debate. Whilst steroidal injections can cause short-term shrinkage of the mass and a reduction in short-term pain, it has also been shown to have little to no longer-term effects on either pain or growth.

In fact, some doctors refuse to use steroid injections for problems of this sort, because in certain cases it can actually cause the fibrous mass to grow in size.

If physical treatment is ineffective, then the next step is generally surgery, which is usually considered if the fibroma continues to cause pain after all non-surgical means have been exhausted.

Surgical intervention for a plantar fibroma tends to be relatively minor. As with all foot and leg surgery, expect to be off your feet for a time, but surgery of this sort tends to only require around a week or two of recovery time if you can get adequate rest and recuperation.

All things going well, you should be completely healed and back to full strength in around a month, potentially two.

Are there possible complications with fibroma surgery?

As a relatively non-invasive surgery, there are few side effects that can happen with this procedure.

In general, you may face a wound that becomes infected or requires fluid drainage. You may also find chronic or returning pain or in worst cases the return of the mass after foot surgery. If you are worried about any of these potential complications, make sure you talk it over with your practitioner.

Can I do anything about painful knot in arch of foot at home?

Unfortunately not. Whilst massage can help foot recovery and revitalize tired feet, it does nothing to deal with the cause of the problem.

If you find massage helps, by all means, massage your foot, but be aware that you can’t break down that painful knot in arch of foot or plantar fibroma with physical therapy.

If you’ve recently found a lump in the arch of your foot, or if you’ve been dealing with plantar fibroma for a while, the best thing to do is speak to your doctor. They will be able to give you treatments based on your specific circumstances.

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