Definition of cyst: a membranous sac or cavity of abnormal character containing fluid
Definition of a lipoma: benign tumor of fatty tissue
Definition of a plantar fibromatosis: benign fibrous tumor of connective tissue arising from the deep fasica in the foot
I have a bump/lump on my foot, what is it?
Bumps/lumps can be commonly found on the foot. These lesions are soft tissue masses and can occur anywhere on the foot. They can be sacs of fluid, fatty tissue and nerve, vessel or muscle enlargements. These soft tissue masses may cause no pain but if they develop in weight-bearing areas they may cause pain.
Common bumps/lumps found on the foot
|Ganglion cyst||Lipoma||Plantar Fibromatosis|
- sac filled with a gelatinous fluid that originates from a joint capsule or tendon sheath
- commonly form over a joint in the foot
- ganglion cysts vary in size
- most common non-cancerous soft-tissue mass.
- soft tissue mass composed of fatty tissue
- soft to the touch, movable and usually painless
- may be found anywhere in the body where fat is located
- sually found on the side or bottom of the foot.
- thickening of the feet’s deep connective tissue (fascia)
- usually start growing along tendons of the foot
- most frequently found along the in-step of the foot
- usually painless but pain arises when the soft tissue mass rubs on the shoe or the floor
- least common bump/lump of the three listed
How do you diagnose a bump/lump?
A foot specialist, chiropodist or podiatrist, will obtain a complete medical history as well as perform a thorough physical examination of the foot. Foot specialists will feel, move and manipulate the soft tissue in different ways to determine the diagnosis. Additional imaging studies may be requested by your family physician to confirm what the soft tissue mass may be.
How do you treat bumps/lumps?
The treatment protocol for bumps/lumps is to start with conservative treatment options, such as:
- to offload pressure from the soft tissue mass
- Shoe modifications
- to ensure there is enough room to accommodate the soft tissue mass or ensure there is no rubbing occurring between the shoe and the soft tissue mass
- Custom-made orthotics
- to offload pressure from problematic areas
- Aspiration and injection therapy
- Involves removing fluid from the soft tissue mass (if present) and then injecting a corticosteroid solution to shrink the soft tissue mass
Aspiration and injection therapy will help remove the soft tissue mass but more than one session may be needed. Soft tissue masses have a high reoccurrence rate.If conservative treatments fail, surgical intervention may be an option. It is important to discuss with your foot specialist and family physician the best course of action.
The Mississauga Foot Clinic is fully equipped to perform in-office procedures to remove most soft tissue masses from the foot. Although there is still a reoccurrence rate associated with surgery, it is much lower than the aspiration and injection technique.