Ask The Expert
June 21, 2012
Based on your description, this sounds like a condition called plantar fibromatosis (Ledderhoseís disease). Here, the plantar fascia (a layer of firm fibers under the skin in the bottom of the foot) forms hard, irregular lumps.
At first, they usually arenít painful. But they can cause discomfort right away or later. They are not cancerous.
We donít know what the exact cause of plantar fibromatosis is. But people with this disorder can have a similar problem in the palm of the hand. This is called palmar fibromatosis, or Dupuytrenís contracture. Some people develop this condition because of a genetic predisposition. In others, it may be secondary to:
Experts differ on the best way to approach this problem. Most favor the use of an orthotic to take pressure off the affected area. Other techniques include:
But these are all more opinions than proven therapies.
Surgery is a last resort. When plantar fibromas are removed, itís quite likely they will come back. But surgery may be necessary when large nodules are causing pain that canít be relieved by other measures. Or when they compress a nerve or blood vessel.