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 5 lumps or bumps you may find on your feet and what to do about them.
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.
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 reoccurence.
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 risk for skin cancer and so using sunscreen on your feet is essential for prevention.
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 tendon, and faulty foot mechanics also puts people at greater risk for this condition.
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.
If you've discovered a lump or bump on your foot, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.
Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.