A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. While they can occur throughout the foot, the most common location in the foot is a Morton’s Neuroma. This occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes. The thickening, or enlargement, of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates swelling of the nerve, eventually leading to painful symptoms and in some cases ,permanent nerve damage.
- Tingling, burning, and/or numbness
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot, or that there’s a rise in the shoe or a sock is bunched up
Neuroma Causes & Treatment
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.
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 MLS Laser Treatments can offer an alternative to surgical removal of the nerve tissue if prior conservative treatments render ineffective results. We offer Alcohol Sclerosing Injections in the office and 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 at 706.999.9994 or request an appointment online!