Most probably, your peers are enjoying life and engaging themselves in activities such as hiking, long distance walking, mountain climbing and biking but you, you can’t. The swelling in the middle of the bottom of your feet is preventing you from having all the fun. Known as plantar fibroma, it is a small growth that happens at the bottom of the foot between the heels and towards the toes. It mostly occurs from the second decade to the sixth decade of an individual’s life. It is a very rare type of growth. Bending and toughening of the feet occurs, making walking to be a painful experience. The nodule grows very slowly along the foot.
The nodule can lie dormant for some months or years and then sudden and fast growth may appear. The onset of the growth typically varies with different individuals. They may be present at birth or sometimes occur during adulthood. It mostly affects the male as compared to their female counterparts. It is associated with, Long-term alcohol abuse, diabetes, epilepsy, severe liver disease. Research has shown that it is 25 percent likely to occur during middle and old age.
Causes of plantar fibroma
It may be caused by certain conditions such as having cysts at the center of the foot. It may also be caused by trauma to the foot causing breakage and swellings of the tendons. An infection can cause the growth of the nodule or trauma experienced from the previous penetration, leading to the reaction of the foreign bodies.
It is likely to occur to those patients who have consumed alcohol for longer period. Epilepsy, chronic liver disease and diabetes also may play a part in the disease. The patients who take the anti-seizure medications have a high chance of contracting the disease. Medications such as dilantin, phenytoin and beta-blocker are examples of the medications. More over excess dosage of Vitamin C supplements may cause development of collagens, which leads to the plantar fibroma. The disease may also be inherited from the parents.
The condition is a manifestation of excess collagen formation. It is coupled with mass of skin forming a nodule at the center of the bottom of the foot.
Walking and standing may become a painful; experience. However, at the onset of the disease, there may be less or no pain. The patient may experience discomfort in putting on shoes and also standing barefoot may be so difficult.
Plantar Fibroma – Treatment
Before treatment, the doctor should be aware of your medical history, family medical history, the supplements being taken, and your lifestyle for accurate diagnosis. The treatment varies with the magnitude of the fibroma. Therapeutic methods have been largely used to manage the disease. Reducing direct pressure to the fibroma may be used as a form of treatment. This may be achieved through the arc supports, padding, heel lifts and night splints. Reducing the pressure to the fibroma leads to its shrinkage.
Drug known as Verapamil 15% known to treat the high blood pressure can be applied through the mass daily as it leads to the shrinkage of the fibroma. Cortisone injection may be applied but is not recommended because it may lead to multiplication and expansion of the fibroma.
There is high recurrence for the plantar fibroma. The surgery may be performed but there is high risk associated with damaging the digital nerves and a higher likely hood of recurrence after the surgery. Also, the wounds may develop complications later.
It can be diagnosed by performing an MRI test. The MRI helps the doctors to establish the size, location, size and the appearance of the fibroma. An X-ray and clinical exam may also be performed to verify the images of the nodule.
Is surgery for plantar fibroma advisable?
Surgery is performed only by a case and case basis. Performing fasciectomy greatly reduces the chances of the condition recurring. Removal of the fibrous tissues through excision also is another form of surgical treatment. After the surgery is performed, you may be required to use the crutches for three to four weeks.
How to prevent plantar fibroma?
Since there is no particular known cause for diseases, keeping fit, maintaining good weight, drinking healthy fluids, putting on proper foot wear are termed as healthy practices. Warming up before performing exercise and cooling down after the exercise is another preventive measure.
It is purely non-cancerous as compared to its sister disease Duputyren’s contracture that affects the hand. The nodule rarely disappears by itself. The patient may face chronic pain, recurrence and delayed healing as some of the common complications associated with fibroma. Flat feet may also be as a result of the surgery. The superficial plantar fibroma occurs to the younger children than adults. It is another type of plantar fibroma.
Filed in: Conditions