Foot Surgery: The Real Truth About Foot Tumors

Foot & ankle specialist NiccoliDid you know that you can get a tumor on the foot? It’s true—you may never have heard of a foot tumor, but it does happen. After all, tumors can happen anywhere you have live tissue.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve seen two different patients with foot tumors. One is a middle-aged woman in her fifties, and the other is a teenage girl. Like tumors in other parts of the body tend to be, these cases were very different from one another.

A hidden foot tumor with no symptoms

The middle-aged woman came into the office, concerned because she had been trying on boots, and it was suddenly more difficult to put them on. She felt fine, was not in any pain at all, and had no outward signs of foot problems.

Upon careful examination, it was discovered that she had a hard nodule, or lump, in the deep tissue along the top of her foot. The nodule was relatively immobile—it didn’t move much when prodded or shifted. X-rays of the foot didn’t reveal anything obviously wrong, so we ordered an MRI to take a closer look. The radiologist read it as a “normal-looking” ganglion cyst.  Based on my experience,  I felt that was not the true diagnosis. So just to be perfectly sure, we took a small tissue biopsy and sent it along for microscopic evaluation.

When foot tumors can be seen

In the case of the teenage girl, the tumor was visibly apparent. She arrived at the office with no pain, but there was a hard protrusion that extended from the tip of her third toe.

The concern with this foot tumor was that it had started to lift and destroy the nail of the toe. The foot was x-rayed, which revealed that the growth was a small extension of the bones in the toe, protruding beyond the normal skeleton. We recommended complete removal of the growth via surgical excision.

The outcomes: Early detection reduces later complications

When the biopsy results returned for the middle-aged woman, it was found that she had a synovial sarcoma—a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the soft tissue. Thanks to the small size of the growth and the fact that we caught it early, her outlook is relatively good. She is currently scheduled to undergo a wide margin excision, which will remove the growth and the surrounding tissues to catch any stray malignant cells.

The teenage girl was officially diagnosed with an osteochondroma. This is a benign bone tumor that’s actually quite common, presenting in a classic location and age group. The protrusion was excised, and the patient went on to full recovery with no complications.

Cases like these offer compelling reasons to pay attention to your feet. If you find that something unusual is going on with your feet or ankles—even if it’s as simple as having trouble putting on shoes—it’s best to have the issue checked out sooner rather than later. Alameda Family Podiatry Group offers state-of-the-art foot and ankle care in a friendly, patient-centric setting to meet all of your diagnostic needs for potential foot tumors and other problems.

Click here or Call us now at 510-521-3410  ~ Dr. Jeffrey J Niccoli  Board-Certified, Alameda Family Podiatry Group. Serving  Bay Area patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, and Alameda

1 comment to The Real Truth About Foot Tumors

  • […] The pain from neuromas may start gradually causing burning, tingling, cramping, or numbness. Symptoms often occur after walking or standing for a period of time. Initially this is mistaken as “foot fatigue” and not taken seriously. However, if you have to stop walking, standing, or stooping on a regular basis and feel the need to massage the painful area then you may be experiencing signs of a neuroma in development. Later, as the nerve mass grows due to continued trauma, the pain becomes persistent even when shoes are not worn. In some cases, the pain radiates from the top of the toes to the ankle. Keep in mind that most growths in the foot and ankle are benign, however, occasionally something more serious is brewing.  Click on my foot tumor article from more information. […]

Leave a Reply