Removal of growths on the foot, lipomas, cysts and warts
The word tumor has a negative connotation, and people often equate the term with cancer. But a tumor is simply a large accumulation of tissue in an atypical location, and most tumors are, in fact, benign, or non-cancerous.
There are many lumps and bumps that may occur in the foot, here a some to review some that are more common.
Fibromas are simply lumps of fibrous connective tissue. These usually occur alone, but may occur in groups throughout a region of the body, or throughout the entire body. The most common location is on the bottom of the foot, near the big, thick fibrous connective tissue known as the ‘plantar fascia’. When part of the plantar fascia, it is typically known as a fibromatosis (discussed below). If asymptomatic, they don’t require treatment. But when painful, treatment typically includes padding to redistribute weight away from the lesions, and excision. Most fibromas tend not to recur.
Sometimes known as a Dupuytren’s Contracture of the foot, a fibromatosis is lump of scar tissue that forms on the plantar fascia. It may be caused by trauma (stepping on broken glass, e.g.) or from a systemic disease. Redistributing weight or simple excision may be the treatment chosen for this condition when it exists in isolation and is caused from trauma, but wide surgical excision may be chosen if this is caused from a systemic disease.
A ganglion is a benign, fluid-filled sack that out-pockets from a joint or tendon sheath. These lesions are probably the most common benign growth in the body, and may get larger or shrink rapidly. Ganglions can be left alone if they cause no problems, but when care is indicated, they can be treated by aspiration (inserting a needle and drawing out the fluid contents) or surgical removal. Ganglions have a relatively high recurrence rate.
An inclusion cyst is really a piece of foreign material that is walled off by the body. The foreign material may be a piece of glass, metal, wood…. virtually anything that your body cannot expel or readily break down, and so, chooses to wall off instead.
A common way to develop an inclusion cyst is to step on a nail or something else sharp. A piece of the nail may break off inside the foot, or it may simply implant into the body a piece of the shoe, the sock, or dead skin cells. This material may then become encapsulated, or walled off from the body, becoming an inclusion cyst. Surgical excision is the most frequent treatment, and recurrence rate is quite low.
A leiomyoma is a benign tumor of smooth muscle. One common origin are the cells that make up your circulatory system. In the foot, this muscle may be the erector pili muscle–the muscle that makes your hair stand up when you’re cold. Treatment is usually through surgical excision, and recurrence rate is low.
A lipoma is a benign, slow-growing fatty tissue growth, and it’s quite common on the bottom of the foot. Often mistaken for fibromas, because of their consistency and location, lipomas are treated in a similar fashion.
If asymptomatic, they don’t require treatment. But when painful, treatment typically includes padding to redistribute weight away from the lesions, and excision. Most lipomas do not recur after removal.
Neuromas are not truly tumors at all–they consist of scar tissue that develops around nerves from repetitive trauma. The classic spot for a neuroma to occur is on the bottom of the foot in the third interspace (between the third and fourth metatarsal bones and toes), in which case it is the bones on each side of the nerve that cause the trauma.
For more information on neuromas and its treatment, you may wish to visit our web page devoted specifically to that topic.
It may be quite difficult for even the doctor to know exactly what type of lesion you have. Often the final diagnosis is made after the lesion is removed, and is sent to pathology. A pathologist would look at the lesion under a microscope to give a definitive diagnosis. Warts and Plantar Warts – Surgery
WARTS AND PLANTAR WARTS
Surgery is an option if home treatment and treatment at your doctor’s office have failed. Surgery for warts is usually quick and effective. No single surgical method is more effective than another in removing warts. Generally, doctors start with the surgical method that is least likely to cause scarring.
The most common types of surgical treatment for wart removal include:
Electro surgery and curettage. Electro surgery is burning the wart with an electrical current. Curettage is cutting off the wart with a sharp knife or a small, spoon-shaped tool. The two procedures are often used together.
Laser surgery. Laser surgery burns off the wart with an intense beam of light.
If you’ve been searching for podiatric surgeons for your foot and ankle needs, take time to meet with the Podiatry Group of Georgia. Our doctor has the experience and knowledge you need to help your feet and ankles feel their best. Give us a call today and set up an appointment for your initial consultation. Call us today !
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