Plantar fibromas are benign tissue tumors or growths on the plantar, or bottom surface of the foot. Unlike plantar warts, which grow on the skin, these grow deep inside on a thick fibrous band of ligaments called the plantar fascia. The presence of these tumors can cause pain or pressure on other parts of the foot structure that can lead to other foot problems. This is not the same as plantar fasciitis which is inflammation of the fascia band on the arch and heel but without any masses or growths.
Dr. Young has had success in treating these with Verapamil gel. It is a prescription preparation that is applied to the arch. Unfortunately, it takes several months for the masses to resolve and reduce in size. But the treatment is easy and normally has no complications.
For plantar fibromas that do not respond to this treatment or for painful masses that the patient prefers to have removed, surgical excision is offered. Scarring is usually minimal but does require careful management of the area for several weeks. If there are several masses or a larger mass, special dressings or care may be advised. Careful and realistic pre-operative discussion and planning is important since things like commuting and work requiring extensive walking or standing will be affected.