It's never pleasant to discover a lump on your body, but thankfully most soft tissue masses on your feet are likely to be noncancerous. If you notice any odd lumps on your feet, Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, can help. The team provides expert diagnosis and treatment of a range of soft tissue masses, including cysts and fibromas. Call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.
Soft tissue masses are lumps in or around your foot or ankle. About one out of every thousand soft tissue masses is a malignant, or cancerous, tumor, but for the most part, these lumps aren't dangerous.
The most common types of soft tissue masses include:
Bursae are little fluid-filled sacs that protect your joints and tendons. If they come under pressure or get irritated, inflammation sets in, which can cause painful lumps.
Cysts contain fluid, which in the case of a ganglion cyst, is the lubricating fluid leaking from your joints. They're not harmful in general but can become quite painful.
Inclusion cysts, also known as sebaceous cysts, are fluid-filled lumps that form to isolate something that shouldn't be in your foot. Splinters and hairs are common causes of inclusion cysts.
Fibromas are nodules of tissue that are often present without causing any problems. Plantar fibromas are the most common type to affect the feet. With plantar fibromas, a nodule grows on the thick connective tissue (the plantar fascia) on the bottom of your foot.
Lipomas are lumps of fatty tissue that are a common type of soft tissue mass in mid to later life. Unlike cancerous tumors, lipomas are moveable. They're not normally painful unless they're close to a nerve.
The location and nature of a soft tissue mass offer clues as to its cause. An MRI can provide more information about these lumps.
To be sure of the cause of a soft tissue mass, cutting the mass out provides a definitive answer. However, your provider at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle can tell when the mass is something like a lipoma rather than cancer.
If you have soft tissue masses, you should always have them examined. If your mass is noncancerous and causing no problems, there's no need to treat the lump, although you might prefer to have it removed if its appearance causes you distress.
If your soft tissue mass causes pain or other symptoms, there are several steps your provider at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle can take to treat it. They might draw the fluid from a cyst or inject the lump with steroid medication. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that can shrink some types of soft tissue masses.
If you have a plantar fibroma, you might benefit from using medical-grade custom orthotics, which are individually designed shoe inserts.
Your provider can also excise your soft tissue mass, which they then send to a lab for analysis. Once the diagnosis is definite, they can take any other steps necessary to treat the cause of your soft tissue mass.
If you've noticed any odd soft tissue masses on your feet, call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online for expert care today.