Soft tissue masses are growths of soft tissue that can occcur anywhere in the body, including the foot and ankle. They are classified in a group of conditions called tumors or neoplasms, which simply implies that is "new growth" of a tissue. These can be either benign (non-cancerous) or they can be malignant (cancerous).
Neoplasms or tumors can occur in any tissue: skin, soft connective tissue or organs, and bone. It is important to find out if they are benign or malignant. This can be performed either by having a biopsy where part of the mass is removed, or by an excision, where the entire mass is removed, and then be sent to a pathology lab for proper diagnosis to guide treatment. Initially, imaging is generally done with either an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan to help determine the nature, size, and origin of the tissue.
SOFT TISSUE MASS DIAGNOSIS
Most soft tissue masses require imaging with an ultrasound or MRI, or a biopsy, when obtaining more information to help with diagnosis. Some common benign soft tissue masses in the foot and ankle are fluid filled ganglion cysts and plantar fibromas, although malignant tumors can also occur in the foot and ankle. So it is always imperative to investigate any soft tissue mass.
SOFT TISSUE MASS EXCISION
Some small skin and soft tissue lesions can be removed in the office under local anesthesia. Others are usually removed in the outpatient surgery setting such as in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) or hospital operating room.