What Is This Lump, Doc?

One of the most common questions foot and ankle surgeons get from their patients is “what is this lump, doc?” Be warned … that is often a very loaded question. Location, size, consistency, and progression are just some of the considerations that go into a diagnosis. In the next couple of weeks I will break down the most common “lumps and bumps” seen on the foot and ankle.

Let us start on the inside of the foot (medial arch). Our first consideration is if the lump is composed of soft tissue or bone. An ape could figure this one out. Bone is hard and soft tissue is … you get the picture. But here is a fun fact an ape would not know: twenty-six bones reside in each foot/ankle with hundreds of soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, and fascia) components. Now I will really impress you: between 13-45% of us have extra bones in our feet called accessory bones.

We all have nice bony lumps called the “navicular tuberosity” toward the back of our inner arch, but 13% of us have an extra bone over that area called an accessory navicular. To further complicate matters, there are three types of extra bones. Leave it to your podiatrist to distinguish between the three, but one of these types is clearly visible and palpable and can actually become arthritic or fracture. This can interfere with your daily activities like walking (or hanging from the side of a plane if you are Tom Cruise in his new Mission Impossible movie.

Remember this is only one cause of a bony prominence isolated to the inner arch. As we will discuss in future blogs, a seemingly endless list of possibilities exists including tumors, misaligned bone, previous trauma, and more. Contact us at Cast a Foot Podiatry in Hempstead if you experience painful lumps and bumps in your feet.


Nicole M. Castillo, DPM

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