A Morton’s neuroma is a non-cancerous thickening of nerve tissue along the foot that carries sensations from the toes. Once swelling begins, the nearby bones and ligaments put pressure on the nerve, causing inflammation and terrible irritation. This produces symptoms like burning pain, numbness, tingling and other abnormal sensations in the toes.
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. One of the most common offenders is wearing tight fitting shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. People with certain foot deformities including bunions, hammertoes, and flatfeet, are at a higher risk for developing a painful neuroma due to the increased pressure put on the nerve. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running, while direct trauma to that ball of the foot can also lead to nerve damage and inflammation.
A Morton’s neuroma’s pain can spread from the ball of the foot out to the tips of the toes. In some cases, there’s a sensation of a lump, a crease in your sock or a pebble that is stuck in between the toes. Due to increased pressure, standing for long periods of time can highly aggravate these symptoms.
For most, neuroma pain can be temporarily relieved by taking off your shoes, stretching your toes and rubbing your feet. As always we recommend our in-office Vionic shoe shop and that a medical professional fits you properly for your everyday shoes. This will help prevent future development of neuromas.
Our Doctors at Da Vinci Foot and Ankle will diagnose a Morton’s neuroma based on the nature and location of your foot pain. We take multiple facets into account from your favorite shoes to medical history to what you like to do on a Saturday morning. Those who enjoy long walks or outdoor activities may be susceptible to a Morton’s neuroma if they aren’t wearing the proper footwear.
To confirm your diagnosis, one of our Doctors will examine your feet. Squeezing the sides of your feet is telling of a nerve trigger and if you do have a Morton’s neuroma. A foot X-ray may be ordered based on the physical examination. This would only be to rule out other traumas like a stress fracture.
Treating nerve pain can always be challenging and results vary between patients. Typical treatment options include shoe modifications, rest, anti-inflammatories, and shoe inserts. Custom orthotics with special padding may be beneficial and a reliable first approach in treating nerve pain. Cortisone injections can provide immediate pain relief while our MLS Laser Treatments can offer an alternative to surgical removal of the nerve tissue, if prior conservative treatments render ineffective results. Additionally, we offer Alcohol Sclerosing Injections in the office. As a last resort, surgical removal of the painful nerve at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro, GA.
Speak with one of our physicians to see what options would work best for you or request an appointment online!
You don’t have to live with pain. Da Vinci Foot and Ankle can help!