A neuroma, or “Morton’s neuroma” as it is also popularly mentioned as, is a painful condition of the foot caused by a benign growth of nerve tissue. The pain from a neuroma is most frequently located on the bottom of your foot, between your third and fourth toes. You may start feeling numbness, burning or tingling sensation in the area of the neuroma, extending to the toes. A neuroma however can be located between any of your toes, in between more than one, and also on other parts of your foot and ankle.
The pain you feel will most likely be felt while walking and wearing closed toe shoes. You may feel like there is a rock in your shoe or that your sock is bunched up near your toes. Neuroma pain is most common in women.
Although the exact cause for this condition is unclear, a number of factors can contribute to the formation of a neuroma:
Your foot structure, such as a high-arched foot or a flat foot, can lead to the formation of a neuroma.
Tight fitting shoes or socks
High heeled shoes putting excess pressure on the ball of your foot
Numbness, tingling, or burning on the ball of your Foot
Pain shooting towards the toes, most commonly in-between your third
Increased pain when wearing closed toe shoes
Feeling like you are stepping on a pebble
Dr. Hurwitz and Dr. Amin recommend seeking treatment at the first sign of pain or discomfort. If left untreated, neuromas tend to grow larger and become more painful.
Often times, an x-ray and/or ultrasound will be performed
Occasionally, an MRI may be required to pinpoint your diagnosis
Treatment options vary with the severity of your neuroma and treatment options may include:
Custom orthotics to help control your abnormal foot function and relieve pressure on the area.
Prescription anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve the pain and inflammation causing you discomfort
When conservative therapy fails to relieve your pain, surgery may be required. The procedure, which removes the inflamed and enlarged nerve, is performed on an outpatient basis, with a recovery time that is often just a few weeks.