Fibromas are more common among people who suffer from fibromyalgia. However, the reason behind this has not yet been fully understood.
What is a fibroma?
A fibroma is a benign, tumor-like growth made up mostly of fibrous or connective tissue. Tumor-like growths such as fibroma develop when uncontrolled cell growth occurs for an unknown reason, or as a result of injury or local irritation. Fibromas can form anywhere in the body and usually do not require treatment or removal.
Common types of fibroma
Fibromas can occur in people of any age and either sex, but they are most often seen in adults. The most common types of fibroma include angiofibromas (small papules across the nose and cheeks that contain fibrous tissue), dermatofibromas (benign skin growths), oral fibromas, and plantar fibromas (in the arch of the foot, especially in children). This article will focus on dermatofibromas (skin fibromas) and plantar (foot) fibromas.
If you’ve ever heard of a “skin tag,” then you’ve likely heard of fibromas before. The skin tag, which is a small growth of skin, is a form of fibroma. And they are fairly common, particularly in older people. This type of fibroma is not dangerous and can often be removed easily. In addition, skin tags aren’t often painful, but this is not the case for all kinds of fibromas.
A plantar fibroma is a mass of fibrous tissue that develops in the arch of the foot. The growth often causes pain and discomfort even though it is benign. Plantar fibromas affect males more often than females and tend to occur in people of middle age or older. Less commonly, some people may develop several fibromas on their foot, a condition known as plantar fibromatosis.
One of the most common types of fibroma grows in the ovaries. These are called ovarian fibromas or fibroids. Fibroids usually affect women in their early thirties or forties. But as you age, your chances of developing fibroids increase to the point where by the age of fifty, almost seventy percent of women will likely develop at least a few. Some cases of fibroids can be painful and even cause bleeding and eventually infertility, But typically, the risk of that is quite low.
A doctor can diagnose a plantar fibroma by examining a person’s foot. Additional tests may be necessary in some cases. During the physical exam, the doctor will press on the fibroma and surrounding area. They will check for pain and assess the person’s ability to stand and walk comfortably.
Are They Related To Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia often seems to come with a lot of other symptoms, and they’re often ones that we don’t expect. For instance, one thing that people with fibromyalgia often suffer from is fibromas. Fibromas are more common among people who suffer from fibromyalgia. However, the reason behind this has not yet been fully understood.
What is known is that fibromas are common for those who are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune conditions. This barely explains why fibromyalgia will make you more susceptible to skin tags in the same manner. Yet, it is hardly surprising since anyone who has fibromyalgia is aware how the condition will seem to trigger endless complications. As of the moment, fibromas are among those conditions that lack proper medical research so it is hard to tell why it is closely being linked to fibromyalgia.
Treatment aims to alleviate pain and reduce the size of the mass. Small plantar fibromas that do not cause symptoms may not require any treatment. Treatment options for larger or painful fibromas include:
A topical gel treats plantar fibroma by stopping the growth of fibrosis tissue. Some gels claim that they can alleviate pain within a few months of use. Evidence for its effectiveness is limited.
Orthotic insoles and pads
Pain caused by a fibroma may be eased by wearing a shoe insole or pad. These orthotic inserts redistribute body weight throughout the foot to reduce pressure on the arch and fibroma. Orthotics can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) or custom made.
Getting an injection of steroid drugs into the mass can reduce pain and inflammation which may allow people to stand and walk with greater ease. A corticosteroid shot is often considered a temporary solution because it does not stop the fibroma from growing.
The surgery itself involves using a laser to instantly seal blood vessels as the growth is cut away with a scalpel, which makes the procedure almost bloodless. As a result, the surgery can be performed in around fifteen minutes and only leaves behind a small scar where the growth was. And it also makes the procedure very safe for the patient. Surgical removal of a fibroma, however, can increase the risk of other foot conditions developing; these could include flat foot and hammertoe.
If a fibroma grows very large or if multiple fibromas develop, it can affect the shape of the arch of the foot, leading to difficulty standing or walking around. Sometimes a person will require surgery to remove the mass. As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications including infection. There is also a risk that the fibroma will return.
The outlook for people with plantar fibroma depends on several factors including:
- >the size of the fibroma
- >the number of nodules present
- >the level of pain experienced
Small fibromas often do not cause symptoms. Larger growths can cause persistent pain and impact a person’s ability to move. Fibromas will not go away without treatment. Options include topical gels, injections, orthotics, exercises, and surgery.
Home remedies, such as ice and elevation, can reduce pain. Although fibroma recurrence is typically rare, people with multiple lumps are more likely to experience a return of the condition, even after successful treatment.