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Plantar Fibromatosis

What is it?

Plantar fibromatosis is a common cause of arch pain. A plantar fibroma is a growth found on the plantar fascia or arch ligament on the bottom of the foot. It is nodular in appearance and may or may not be tender on pressure. Most plantar fibromatosis lesions have unpredictable changes in both growth and symptoms. In short, they may have localized symptoms or may be symptom free. When these soft tissue nodules appear in the hand and cause contraction of the fingers, the condition is called Dupuytren's contracture.

What causes it?

The cause of plantar fibromatosis is unknown. Associated factors for developing plantar fibromatosis include epilepsy, thyroid disorders, alcoholic cirrhosis and Dupuytren’s contracture of the hands. Some authorities believe that localized trauma with injury to the thickened plantar bands can cause this condition. In certain cases, these nodular lesions can spread and involve a fairly extensive segment of the bottom of the foot.

How is it treated?

Treatment for plantar fibromatosis includes conservative and surgical approaches. Conservative care includes padding or off-loading of the nodules to decrease discomfort. Steroid injections into the growth to try to shrink it may also be incorporated. If conservative treatment fails, surgical excision of the growth might be necessary. It is essential to periodically observe and monitor any progressive changes in this condition in terms of both size and symptoms. Once it is determined that the nodules are spreading, it is important to take on a more aggressive approach to its clinical management.

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