The sudden appearance of a mass or lump in the body can be fear-inducing, no matter where it appears.  Concerns for cancer or an unusual injury run rampant, and the appearance of a new lump in the foot is no different.  While the new mass is certainly not a sign that is normal, most people can rest assured that cancer is unlikely and fairly uncommon.

A lump or mass under the skin is a sign that tissue of some form has expanded beyond its typical size.  Some causes of a mass may be fast-growing, and some may be slow growing that is simply not noticed until the area is either visible externally or is painful and prompts a personal exam.  In the foot, the most common cause of a quickly appearing mass is a ganglion cyst.  This generally benign fluid-filled mass is what most people have when they see a new lump in their foot or ankle.  An in-depth explanation of ganglion cysts and ganglion cyst explanation and treatment can be found by following the highlighted link.  Cancer within a cyst like this is possible but incredibly rare.  Other common masses in the foot and ankle that can seem like they suddenly appear include fat tissue masses, masses of fibrous tissue called fibromas, tendon thickening from underlying bone spurs (especially behind the heel)  as well as simple cases of soft tissue swelling/fluid retention (such as often seen in front of the outer ankle).  These masses are rarely ever cancerous, and while they can cause pain do not require urgent surgical intervention.


On the other hand, serious cancer can form in the foot, and less commonly may be a metastatic mass from cancer elsewhere in the body.  These cancers can include rare tumors of skeletal muscle, bone, fat tissue, nerve tissue, blood vessels, and cells that form the tissue in and around the tendon.  Some of these rare cancers are potentially fatal, and others create serious but not lethal problems for the health of the foot or ankle.  Treatment for these cancers may need to involve the entire body, and surgery or amputation may be needed in the most serious of cases.  Once again, though, these cancers are RARE.


If you notice a mass develop in your foot, the most sensible decision is to start with a foot and ankle specialist who deals with foot anatomy on a daily basis.  A thorough exam by a podiatrist can lead to an accurate early diagnosis of the condition.  If the mass is suspicious, proper testing can be arraigned, as well as the coordination of appropriate treatment.  However, over 99% of the time this is not necessary, and the benign lump can be easily treated in the office.

Bylon, I recommend to see your original surgeon to have the site assessed.
by Dr Kilberg April 17, 2019 at 09:46 AM
I had ankel surgery a year I have a knot where the incision is at..
by Bylon April 16, 2019 at 08:32 AM
Sir: I have peripheral neuropathy. Ive been exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. I have a lump at the arch of my foot below the ball of my left foot. It causes pain 24/7. should I be concerned or just forget about it Joe
by joseph noviello June 24, 2018 at 11:24 PM
Many conditions can cause symptoms in this area. We recommend you make an appointment with us if you are local to central Indiana, or if not to your local foot and ankle specialist. Indianapolis,7430 N. Shadeland Ave, Suite 290 Indianapolis, IN 46250 Phone: (317) 841-7990 Noblesville, Indianapolis, Fishers, Richmond, Columbus, Seymour, Tipton, Anderson and Muncie Call For an appointment 844.830.3388
by Dr.Kilberg June 4, 2018 at 10:56 AM
I have been living with this pain for a month or so. I hate that after about half of the day I need to take of my shoes. It is from my big toe ton down. Can someone please tell me what is going on.
by Stacy Bouvia June 4, 2018 at 03:09 AM
Many conditions can cause symptoms in this area. We recommend you make an appointment with us if you are local to central Indiana, or if not to your local foot and ankle specialist.
by Dr. Kilberg May 22, 2018 at 09:17 AM
I have lump on top of both feet and a lump on inside of both feet. Also a lump on my eyebrow area which I noticed first. Is it more likely to be cancer with so many? I have an appointment with my primary on Thurs. To get a padietry appointment. I'm scared with so many lumps popping up. What do you think?
by Julie Guarino April 17, 2018 at 09:08 PM
Hello,i have a hard lump on the front side of my right foot. I have it well over a year now. I was sent to see a specialist as i suffer from planter fasciitis in both feet as well. He thought it was a cyst and was going to drain it but wanted to do an ultra scan on it as it had very hard from the last time he seen me. They couldn't get enough detail from the ultra scan to see what exactly what was going on,so they sent me for an mri scan. I got a phone call from the doctor saying my results of the mri were sent to a surgeon to look at in more detail. What do you think the likely hood it would be&is it to determine if i need surgery or not. I know your not a mind reader,lol but just wondering what do you think it would be? Thank-you for your help&advice :-)
by Sandy April 3, 2018 at 02:43 PM
I have a small pea side lump appeared on the top of my right foot it's just a bit tender will it go on its own or do I need it removed
by Sally templeman March 21, 2018 at 02:23 PM
I have a knot in the bottom of my left foot it hurts when I press on it.Thank You
by Willa Johnson March 18, 2018 at 11:58 AM
Hi I have a foot mass on my left foot which there's a knot on top of my foot which is next to my artery? I am very scared I have read your post and everything that I have read is all my symptoms I have a appointment for x-rays and doctor appointment next week but in the meantime what should I do cuz it hurts to walk even in my ankle now?
by April Jones March 12, 2018 at 09:10 PM
Hi My husband has had cellulitis in his left foot and during that time he has developed a painful lump on the side of his foot by the little toe, now he has another lump come up on his heel And it looks like another coming on his big toe. The doctors don't seem interested in these lumps but are treating the cellulitis with anti biotics,he now has a lump very painful come up under the knee at the top of the shin bone. Your comments would-be apprec8ated
by RuthieB March 12, 2018 at 04:29 AM
I have had extensive foot surgery on my left foot five years ago. I still am unable to walk normally and have constant pain. Now I have a lump growing on the side of my left foot. I refuse to go back to the surgeon. What type of doctor should I see about this. The pain is unbearable when I walk.
by Sue February 12, 2018 at 12:55 PM
I have a big bump on my right foot right next to my ankle. Its actually bigger than my ankle. I have alot of pain in both of my feet like if I walked for miles bare foot. Ive noticed I have to be moving them and when I catch my self I stop but then I feel the pain going threw my feet again.
by ISABEL Lopez January 23, 2018 at 02:01 PM
I have a lump on bottom of my foot (arch) now I have noticed it has come through to the top of my foot. Anything to worry about ? Thank u
by Carleen December 28, 2017 at 04:59 AM
A hard lump appeared on the top of my right foot, I’m scared. What could it be and what do I do?
by Shimelle Bishop December 12, 2017 at 09:31 PM
I have a lump on the top of my foot, a few centimeters from my ankle. It hurts to walk and when I push it it hurts, It's like it has a fever; or it's really cold from the rest of my left foot. Idk why. Important; I am a type one diabetic.
by Max McELwee October 8, 2017 at 12:27 AM
My husband got 2 lumps showed up. 1 on top foot and one on side of foot. He has neurapathy and no feeling from knees down and has had no shoes on for a month. Have no idea if painful. He just came off warafin 1 month ago abd wonder uf this could be a blood clot. Thakj you
by Steph Gamez October 4, 2017 at 12:32 PM
I have a bump on the top of my foot
by Tabitha September 3, 2017 at 11:54 PM
About 3 quarters of the way down the right side of my right foot (going from my little toe towards my heel) I noticed a pain a few weeks ago. I ignored it thinking it would go away. But it hasnt, it's only gotten worse. Now its worsening week by week. I feel a lump when I run my hand over it, that the other foot doesn't have & I don't think its bone. I think it may be getting bigger as time passes. I changed shoes but that's not it. It has nothing to do w/ my shoes or how much I stand during the day because all of that is normal like anyone else. I'm a bit freaked out really to the point I'm going to go to the doctor tomorrow I think. I keep hoping it will diasappear but it's not & it's getting slightly more painful by the day. Like I said, right on the side (just above the ground) on the right side of the right foot a little more than halfway down. Any thoughts on wtf this could be ??? Of course it scares the 💩 out of me....
by Mark Wilson August 30, 2017 at 11:49 PM
Good Day sir, suddenly, a hard lump appeared on both of my feet. One is in the left of my left foot and one is in the right of my right foot. They are round about half an inch in diameter and slightly darker in color than my skin. It is also hard like it's a skeletal formation. This just appeared suddenly after 3 weeks of jogging. It's strange that both of them are proportional in place of their appearance. They are not painful at all though. My concern is, should I worry about them? Will they disappear naturally over time? And what are the symptoms of a cancerous lump? Thank you so much! Good day!
by Felix Jr. B. Ababa July 25, 2017 at 12:56 AM
I just looked at my right foot today n discover a small lump onside of it what to do
by Fatima Simmons July 21, 2017 at 01:01 AM
Hi there I'm doing some research because I discovered a bump behind my heel. It doesn't really pain just about 2 nights ago when I discovere it but cannot touch it then it gets a little pain but feels uncomfortable. I would like to know you what it is and if I could do something about it. Please assist.
by Tosh July 20, 2017 at 03:55 AM
I have a large painful lump on the inside of my right foot between my heel and arch. I noticed it two nights ago and since then it has gotten bigger. What is it, please.
by Hope June 29, 2017 at 12:33 AM
I have a hard lump on left foot it hurts when I apply pressure on it please tell me what to do
by Arooj June 26, 2017 at 12:56 PM
I had a lump appear on the top of my left foot I noticed it when I went to scratch an itch. It had pain that shot up my leg, but I pressed on it to see if it was a solid mass. It disappeared but reappeared above my left ankle bone hrs. later. I have not pressed on it for fear of where it may go next.
by douglaskrkn June 18, 2017 at 05:09 PM
I slid into home last night. Right away I noticed some pain in my ankle. I have a small swollen area with a small lump in the sore area. Probably just swelling that caused the lump??
by MikeBundy May 29, 2017 at 10:51 AM
I have had a very painfull foot for 3 wks also a lump on the top of my foot but the lump is soft
by Mandy Woids May 25, 2017 at 06:03 PM
I have a lump on my big toe under skin right beneath my nail and it hurts to the touch.
by arlene May 22, 2017 at 03:29 PM
I have a large knot that appeared suddenly on the top if my left foot.It is painful to walk. Can u give me any information concerning this.
by Ethelene May 17, 2017 at 06:09 PM
I have a hard lump on the outer side of my foot about midway toe to heel. It feels like a swollen part of the bone of my foot? What could it be?
by Rick March 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM
If you’re not satisfied,or want more information with what your GP says, you can always make an appointment with any of our doctors, Podiatrist only study from the ankle down, that is there “expertise”, and there is no way for us to make a diagnosis without seeing the lump. Thanks
by Dr. Kilberg March 16, 2017 at 09:32 AM
On my left foot it feels kinda like a bone was sticking out of my foot, but now I am scared it is a tumor (Ps will be going to gp)
by Nufink March 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM
If it is compressible it is possible that the lump could be a cyst. That being said, many soft tissue tumors and nodules with benign and not so benign origins can feel compressible, and can move into deeper tissue when pressed on if not firmly attached to a strong structure. Having a foot specialist examine the mass is the best place to start- while it could be something simple to treat like a cyst, when dealing with masses one should be cautious and have a formal assessment.
by Dr. Kilberg March 7, 2017 at 09:19 AM
You spelled arranged wrong, lol. Anyway, my question is, I had a lump appear on the bottom of my foot on the ball of my foot just left of the center, just above where the arch transitions to the ball could that be a cyst as well? It only hurts when I walk on it. If I push on it from the left side of it, it feels like fluid and it will disappear while I'm pushing on it so it feels like fluid
by Terri House March 4, 2017 at 01:23 AM
I have a hard lump on my right foot it hurts when I apply pressure on my foot can you please tell me what it is please
by Clare drury November 22, 2016 at 04:30 PM
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