You may have recently discovered a lump or bump on your foot that wasn't there before. It may be painful or not. But you're still concerned.
Bumps and lumps on your feet can result from a variety of conditions. Some of them are fairly benign and can be dealt with in my office, but others can be quite serious and require surgery.
Because feet are often the last part of our bodies we pay attention to, certain cancers can progress more rapidly than if they were found on another part of the body.
Here are 6 reasons for that lump or bump on your foot and what you can do about it.
Bunions are extremely common, particularly among women who wear high heels and also have flat feet. Flat feet are inherited. For that reason it's very likely if your mother had bunions and flat feet, you will too.
Part of bunion treatment is preventing them from getting worse. Anyone with flat feet should avoid wearing heels higher than one inch. Heels along with pointy toes can cause bunions to get worse when worn frequently.
Although bunions can be removed surgically, orthotics can help with foot alignment relieving the pain of bunions and preventing them from getting worse. Even children as young as four or five can benefit from orthotic treatment.
2. Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. While they are more common among people ages 18-35, older adults can also get them. Besides age risk factors include: coming into contact with the virus in moist environments such as public pools, locker rooms, and yoga studios. Plantar warts tend to develop where people bear weight, so can be very painful.
While plantar warts can be treated with over-the-counter medications, oftentimes these don't work. Also, warts tend to recur with these treatments and other more destructive methods often used in doctor's offices.
At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we offer the most advanced method of plantar wart treatment-Swift Immune Therapy. This treatment attacks the virus, not the wart itself, and is much more successful in getting rid of warts and preventing them from recurring.
3. Ganglion Cyst
Ganglion cysts are soft, fluid-filled, benign (non-cancerous) lumps connected to tendons and joints. Often they are found near an ankle joint, top, and side of the foot. Most cysts cause mild pain as a result of the pressure created by wearing shoes. But when they enclose or press on a nerve, the pain can be sharp.
The best way to prevent cysts from forming is to wear well-fitted, comfortable shoes and avoid repeated foot injuries. Ganglion cysts can be drained or injected with steroids but often come back. Surgical removal is an option to prevent recurrence.
Sometimes a bump or lump is cancerous. In our office if we suspect cancer, a biopsy will be done and sent for testing. Although most tests will come back as benign or non-cancerous, certain types of cancer found on the feet progress more rapidly than cancer found elsewhere on the body.
Malignant melanoma is one of those cancers. It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of melanomas occur in the lower extremities, and that 3 percent occur in the feet. Although it makes up only one percent of skin cancers, malignant melanoma accounts for over 60 percent of skin cancer deaths. Rapid discovery and treatment of this cancer is essential.
Exposure to sun increases the risk for skin cancer and so using sunscreen on your feet is essential for prevention.
5. Pump Bump (Haglund's deformity)
Haglund's deformity or "pump bump" most commonly affects women who wear rigid pump-style shoes. In addition to wearing this specific shoe type, high-arched feet, tight Achilles tendons, and faulty foot mechanics also put people at greater risk for this condition.
6. Plantar fibromas
Plantar fibromas are benign tissue tumors or growths found under the arch of the foot. Unlike plantar warts, which grow on the skin, these grow deep inside the plantar fascia ligament. Often these lumps are painless, but when there is pain treatment can include orthotics to remove pressure on the arch, steroid injections, or surgical removal.
Need Relief from a Lump or Bump on Your Foot in Seattle, Washington? Request an Appointment Now
Don't let a lump or bump on your foot cause you worry. Complete the contact form on this page or call our office, the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, at 206-368-7000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rion Berg.
Most new patients are seen within 1-2 week's time. During your initial visit, Dr. Berg will spend up to 30 minutes getting to know you, your podiatry complaints, and your goals so that he can recommend the treatment best meets your needs. Don’t wait—contact us today.
North Seattle Foot & Ankle Specialist Dr. Rion Berg offers compassionate podiatry care for all foot and ankle problems to those living in Seattle Washington and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an immediate appointment or request an appointment online.