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Unfortunately, the true cause of plantar fibromas remains unknown. For now, medical expects have concluded a genetic component, but have not localized the specific gene. The good news is that plantar fibromas are benign in nature. That means they are not cancer and do not spread to other parts of the body or cause systemic illness and organ damage. They may however, be seen in multiples on both your hands and the feet.
Plantar fibromas are most commonly experienced between ages 20 and 60. They are usually slow growing, and tend to be less than an inch in diameter. Plantar fibromas are actually soft tissue tumors made of cells (fibroblasts) that are normally occurring cells in ligaments.
You will have a noticeably painful mass on the bottom of your foot. Usually, a plantar fibroma appears in the middle of your foot, between the front and rear pads. Even slight pressure on the mass causes pain, and your shoes themselves may even aggravate that pain.
A clinical exam, MRI, or X-ray may be used to differentiate and diagnose this condition. However, additional masses may occur on the bottom of the foot such as: ganglion cysts, inclusion cysts, calluses, verruca (plantar warts), healed tendon ruptures, nerve tumors, as well an array of benign and malignant or cancerous soft tissue tumors. It’s best to be evaluated by a medical professional when you notice an abnormal growth on the bottom of your foot.
Asymptomatic fibromas, those without any acute symptoms causing you pain, may simply be observed to see how they behave. Symptomatic fibromas, those which cause pain, can be treated in a number of different ways. Treatment options can include: