It is the time of year for religious celebration which also culminates with my favorite tradition, the easter egg hunt! Millions of families all around the world hide eggs around their house for their little ones to hunt for. Like a game of hide and seek with only one person! For some of us however, we look down at our feet and think, how the heck did that easter egg get in my foot? Of course not literally, but localized swelling, or masses can often give the appearance of just that! Not exactly the same feeling as finding an egg with chocolate inside!
Localized swelling or masses that are located in the foot can be from a variety of sources, most typically benign in nature. The three most common localized masses we see occurring in the foot are fibromas, lipomas, and ganglions. Fibromas are best described as a ball of scar tissue which typically occurs on the bottom of the foot and can be painful to the touch and to walk on. They typically appear to grow and shrink, day to day depending on the amount of inflammation surrounding them. Lipomas are simply an encapsulated hunk of fat. They are not painful alone, and typically occur in non weight bearing areas. They can however become painful if they impede on surrounding nerves. Ganglions are an out pocketing of normal structures in the foot that fill with either joint or tendon fluid. Again these typically are not painful unless they impinge on surrounding structures or rub in shoes. Ganglions, although fluid filled, can be very hard.
Depending on the type of easter egg you have in your foot, the treatments can vary drastically. The first thing your physician will do is obtain a state of the art digital x-ray in the office, to rule out any bony involvement. All three of the aforementioned masses respond well to cortisone injections which aide in shrinking down the excess tissue and therefore decreased the pressure associated with them. Fibromas are best dealt with a combination treatment of both cortisone and offloading. We use custom molded orthotics with precisely positioned offloading areas to “hammock” the mass and prevent any weight from being placed on them (you don’t want to break the egg after all). Ganglions can easily be drained in the office with a simple chair side procedure. The final option for all three of these masses is surgical excision. Carefully excising the mass (which can often times also be done in the office with local anesthetic) leads to an egg free foot instantly, and requires typically a 2 week recovery.
If you find yourself to be finding easter eggs in undesirable places this holiday season, call us at Healthy feet Podiatry for your same day consultation.