A plantar fibroma is a benign nodule or fibrous tumor that forms in the fascia of the bottom of the foot, typically in the arch area. It is also known as plantar fibromatosis or nodular fasciitis. The nodules are firm and rubbery to the touch and range from pea-sized to larger than two inches. Plantar fibromas can occur on one or both feet, sometimes forming multiple lesions or appearing in clusters. They are most commonly found in middle-aged adults but can also occur in younger people and children.
The exact cause of plantar fibroma is unknown, but many believe it may be related to trauma, inflammatory conditions, and repeated tension on the foot’s connective tissue. Over time, these areas become stiff and contain more collagen fibers which form nodules when they bunch together into clumps. There is no known pathology associated with plantar fibromas, meaning that they do not affect physical health other than possible discomfort if they become large enough to press against nerves in the feet.
To accurately diagnose Plantar fibroma, medical history and physical exam of the feet will be taken. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs can help distinguish this condition from more similar appearing tumors or cysts. Non-surgical treatments such as stretching exercises, orthotics, steroid injections, cold laser therapy, and shockwave treatment are often sufficient in providing relief. However, surgery may be required if pain persists after other methods have been attempted.