Plantar fibromas occur when benign tumors develop deep inside the plantar fascia, the dense fibrous ligaments that run along the bottom of the foot. The lumps or growths forming along the foot’s arch result in pain that is often felt in various areas of the foot. Plantar fibromas can lead to a multitude of other foot problems as they cause pressure throughout the foot.
Usually, plantar fibromas are diagnosed through a doctor’s examination and x-rays. Sometimes, MRIs are also necessary for proper diagnoses. Nonsurgical treatment options such as orthotics, ultrasound, steroid injection, topical medication or physical therapy generally alleviate the pain caused by plantar fibromas; however, the mass can still be present. Cryosurgery is a new development in the treatment of plantar fibromas. Performed as an outpatient procedure, it freezes and shrinks the growths with little to no post-surgery pain or complications. This can still leave the mass. Sometimes wide excision of the area is required but there is a 15% recurrence rate with this.