Orthopaedics

What is Plantar Fibromatosis?

Plantar fibromatosis is a benign tumor that occurs in the plantar fascia (a thick layer of fibrous tissue supporting the arch of the foot). The occurrence of this tumor is rather uncommon. Plantar fibromatosis is also referred to as plantar fascial fibromatosis, plantar aponeurosis, Morbus Ledderhose and Ledderhose’s disease.

What is Plantar Fibromatosis?

As mentioned above, this condition is a tissue disorder that leads to the production of non-cancerous lumps. The appearance of non-cancerous lumps could be the resultant of excess collagen or a healing disorder caused by fibrosis (fibrosis is a process where the tissue heals automatically, but sometimes there can be a wound healing disorder).

  • These nodules develop at the bottom of the foot (where the plantar fascia exists; at the arch) and usually cause a less discomfort in the initial stages. The problem is that these nodules would not resolve by themselves, but only grow thick progressively.
  • As the nodules get thicker, there would be an increase in pain and a sever discomfort while walking and standing.

Causes of Plantar Fascial Fibromatosis

So, what exactly leads to this rear condition of the foot. Let us look at some of the causes.

Trauma

People who are into athletic activities like running and climbing can puncture their plantar fascia due to the repetitive impact. This can cause the fascia to thicken and lead to tissue tear. During the healing process (fibrosis), nodules could develop.

Genetics

There is a possibility that this condition can be prevalent in people who have a parent or relative suffering from the same. Also, people suffering from Dupuytren’s disease (a similar variant that affects the palms) are also known to pick up the condition in the foot. The incidence of this disease is rather high in Northern Europe than in Asians.

Medications and Supplements

Beta blockers that are used to treat high blood pressure and supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can lead to the development of excess collagen at the bottom of the foot.

Treatment

The treatment options include both non-invasive and invasive ones. While invasive options include injecting corticosteroids into the nodule and a surgery, non-invasive options include using gels, soft soles, physical therapy and stretching.

A surgery is usually not recommended for treating plantar fibromatosis because there is a high chance that the condition would resurface again.

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