my left arch

my left arch

Plantar fibromatosis

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Plantar fibromatosis
Classification and external resources
ICD10 M72.2
ICD9 728.71
eMedicine derm/874

Plantar fascial fibromatosis, also known as Ledderhose’s disease, Morbus Ledderhose, and plantar fibromatosis, is a relatively uncommon[1] non-malignant thickening of the feet’s deep connective tissue, or fascia. In the beginning, where nodules or cords start growing along tendons of the foot, the disease is minor. Eventually, however, the cords thicken, the toes stiffen and bend, and walking becomes painful. The disease is named after Dr. Georg Ledderhose, a German surgeon who described the condition for the first time in 1894.[2][3] A similar disease is Dupuytren’s disease, which affects the hand and causes bent hand or fingers.

As in most forms of fibromatosis, it is usually benign and its onset varies with each patient.[4] The nodules are typically slow growing[1][4] and most often found in the central and medial portions of the plantar fascia.[1] Occasionally, the nodules may lie dormant for months to years only to begin rapid and unexpected growth.[4] It need to be surgically removed only if discomfort hinders walking.[5]

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In October I discovered I that a plantar fibroma had developed on my left foot.  My left arch had given me intermittent pains for several months, but I had thought it was just a bit of plantar fasciitis.  It only bothered me when I ran very rocky trails, giving me a sharp zing if I hit a rock the wrong way.  But after running in Shenandoah with Matt, Heather, Keith, and Aaron I noticed there was a little bump in the center of the arch that was very tender to the touch.  I went to see an orthopedist, a podiatrist, and my PT, who all diagnosed it as a fibroma with no real treatment options.  Interventions like cortizone, surgery, and orthotics are likely to do more harm than good.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling electric shocks zing through my foot waking me up in the middle of the night (I was dreaming I was walking through an electrical current until I woke up and realized it wasn’t a dream*), I fantasize about just cutting that little sucker right out.  But I only have one long-term option: pain management.  This injury is making the old days of IT band and plantar injuries look pretty darn good: at least with those injuries I could do things to alleviate the problem.  But a fibroma is unlikely to go away, and all I can do is back off and try not to make stupid mistakes that will accelerate the hardening and eventually will make it painful even to walk.  The first stupid mistake would certainly have been trying to run Masochist through the pain.

The first sign of the new order is my attendance at the Wilson pool.  I am about as aquatic as my cat Leda.  I’m pretty good at getting in and out of a hot tub.  And I can swim enough to save my life.  But I don’t do ‘laps’.  When I was injured in college, my track coach tried to get me to aqua jog.  After two weeks I couldn’t take it anymore and quit for the season.  But Aaron and his Magic have gotten me into the lap lane for the first time in my life, and I’m getting the hang of it.  Bubbles, breathe, bubbles, breathe…….


*The dream was actually a bit more detailed.  In it I was trying to follow my father as we walked through this ankle-deep swirl of electricity.  For anyone who has seen my father’s real feet, they’re what you’d get if you crossed the feet of an immuno-compromised ogre with a velociraptor, with thick green toenails that curl all the way around the front of his toe to click on the ground when he walks and splotches of untreated fungus on the top of his foot.  In the dream my father couldn’t understand why I kept hopping and yelping in pain with each electrical yap, while his Shrek feet were entirely impervious to the electrical current.




One Response to Not a Masochist

  1. Ugh! Keeping my fingers crossed for you Martha. In the meantime, I hope the pool yields good things for you.

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