Soft tissue masses are a common occurrence on the leg and feet but early diagnosis is important. This is because the soft tissue mass can be due to a wide range of conditions, some non-threatening and some serious. If it is a serious condition, the faster that it is assessed and diagnosed, and the sooner treatment is given, the better the outcomes.
A soft tissue mass can manifest as a lump, a bump or a nodule, as a tumor, or as a localized area of swelling. It can occur anywhere on the body, but it is quite common in the legs. Depending on what the underlying cause is, they can be single or manifest as multiple clusters, and can be round or elliptic. They could be soft and may roll around when pressed, or they may be firm and hard. They could be painful or painless, may enlarge over time or may remain static.
Sometimes, these lumps could just be a swelling due to a bite or a wound and could disappear in a few days. You should see a doctor if it:
Often, these masses are painless and non-symptomatic, hence people think that they are not harmful. But it is better to get it evaluated by a specialist to rule out any infection or malignancy.
Leg lumps can be caused by any number of conditions, includingInfections - An infection may produce a lump with inflammation, pain and possible pus discharge. It includes:
Inflammation - Some conditions that cause inflammation may produce leg lumps, especially around joints. This could include:
Trauma - Minor and severe injuries of the foot and ankle that cause internal trauma and inflammation can manifest as a lump. This could include:
Tumors - Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lumps, including:
Whatever the cause of the soft tissue mass, it is necessary to get it checked as early as possible. If left untreated it can cause complications that can include:
If you detect a soft tissue mass in the feet, whether it is symptomatic or asymptomatic, see a podiatrist and get it assessed. If it is harmless,it can be fixed easily. But if it isn’t, early detection can ensure that it doesn’t spread further or cause complications.