What’s This Lump in My Foot?

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This is a question that patients frequently ask when they come to Gentle Professional Foot Care. There are a wide variety of answers. The size and location of the lump and the degree of discomfort a patient is experiencing will provide clues to the cause. Although there are many benign foot lumps, cancerous ones are also a possibility. It’s important, if you detect a lump in your foot, that you make an appointment at our Venice office as soon as possible and let our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, do a complete examination. In most cases, lumps will not go away on their own, and even if the lump itself is not dangerous, it may interfere with footwear and begin to cause painful problems. Below are some common types of lumps found in the foot:

Ganglion Cyst—this is a soft, jelly-like mass that is found on tendons or joints of the foot. It most often forms on the top of the foot, but can be located on the side or near the ankle joint. Ganglion cysts may be painful if they are pressing on a joint or being compressed by your shoes. The podiatrist may drain or surgically remove the cyst, but they can reoccur.

Plantar Fibroma—this type of lump is found in the arch of the foot within the ligament. These masses are benign and often painless, at least initially. The bumps may get larger over time and start to cause pain when you stand or walk. Physical therapy, steroid injections and orthotic devices are all conservative treatment options for fibromas.

Haglund’s Deformity—also known as “pump bump,” this lump is a bony enlargement found on the back of the heel. That’s because the stiff backs of pumps (and other rigid-back footwear like ice skates and men’s dress shoes) can contribute to the inflammation of the bursa around the bony enlargement, causing irritation and pain. Treatments aimed at reducing the inflammation may involve shoe modifications and padding, exercises and orthotics. The size of the enlargement will not decrease, however, and in some cases surgery is needed.

The bottom line is that lumps in the feet are not normal and prompt medical attention is needed. To learn more, contact us by calling: (941) 493-7999.