What causes foot lump?
Foot lumps have many possible causes, including trauma, infections, inflammatory diseases, benign cysts and tumors, and cancers.
Traumatic causes of foot lumps
Minor and severe injuries, as well as internal trauma, can result in a localized swelling or lump including:
- Broken bones
- Hematoma (collection of blood in body tissues)
- Sting or bite injuries
Infectious causes of foot lumps
An infection may produce one or more lumps in the form of a localized abscess or as a diffuse enlargement of lymph nodes in the foot. Infectious causes of lumps include:
- Cellulitis (infection of the skin and tissue beneath the skin)
- Papilloma virus infections (warts)
Inflammatory causes of foot lumps
Some conditions that lead to inflammation in the body may produce foot lumps including:
- Ganglion cyst (growth on a tendon sheath often found in the foot)
- Gout (type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints)
- Osteoarthritis (type of arthritis characterized by degeneration of the cartilage and bone in the joints)
- Rheumatic fever (disease characterized by inflammation of the joints and of the connective tissue, especially in the blood vessels and heart)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation)
Tumors that can cause foot lumps
Both benign and malignant tumors can cause foot lumps including:
- Fibroma (benign tumor composed of fibrous or connective tissue)
- Lipoma (benign fatty growth)
- Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system)
- Melanoma (cancer arising in the melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, in the skin or other parts of the body)
- Nevi (moles of the skin)
- Nonmelanoma skin cancers
Serious or life-threatening causes of foot lumps
In some cases, a foot lump may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated by a health care provider. These include:
- Abscess with spreading infection
- Foot ulcer in an individual with diabetes
- Fracture of bone
Questions for diagnosing the cause of a foot lump
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your foot lump including:
- How long have you had the foot lump?
- Are you experiencing any other symptoms along with the foot lump?
- Is the lump getting bigger?
- Is the lump painful?
- Do you have lumps anywhere else on your body?
What are the potential complications of foot lumps?
Foot lumps caused by cancer may have life-threatening consequences, which depend on the type and stage (extent) of the cancer. Left untreated, foot lumps due to abscesses or serious infections may lead to widespread infection in the body. Following your treatment plan for serious causes of foot lumps can help reduce your risk of complications including:
- Joint destruction and deformity
- Necrosis of tissue or gangrene
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
- Ulceration or skin infection
Skin rashes and other changes. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/545.html. Accessed May 21, 2011.
Soft tissue tumors - benign. Cedars-Sinai. http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Soft-Tissue-Tumors---Benign.aspx. Accessed May 21, 2011.
What is foot lump?
A foot lump is a protuberance or localized area of swelling occurring on the foot. Other terms used to describe the various types of lumps include bump, nodule, contusion, tumor and cyst. Foot lumps can be caused by any number of conditions, including infections, inflammation, tumors or trauma. Depending on the cause, lumps may be single or multiple, soft or firm, painful or painless. They... Read more about foot lumpintroduction