A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot, most commonly the area between the third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma may feel as if there is a pebble in a shoe or a fold in a sock.
The thickening of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression enlarges the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage.
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 shoes that have a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. Patients with foot deformities are at a higher risk of developing a neuroma. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or court sports. An injury or other type of trauma to the area may also lead to a neuroma.
The progression of Morton’s neuroma often follows this pattern:
Morton’s neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb
Contact a doctor if you notice one or more of these symptoms:
Acute pain usually comes on suddenly in response to an injury and may come and go. The sensation may be similar to coming into contact with a sharp object.
A burning sensation is a type of pain that’s distinct from dull, stabbing, or aching pain and is often related to nerve problems.
Metatarsalgia (Pain in the Ball of the Foot)
Metatarsalgia is a condition of inflammaion and pain in the ball of the foot. It is usually from excessive pressure under the foot.
Numbness, or tingling, is often described as a “pins and needles” sensation. Although temporary, this may cause pain or discomfort.
To arrive at a diagnosis, your doctor will need a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During a physical examination, your doctor may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot. Other tests or imaging studies may be performed
The best time to contact a doctor is while the symptoms are still in the early stages of development. Early diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma may help you avoid the need for corticosteroid injections or surgery.
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Minimally Invasive Surgery
In minimally invasive surgery, our doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery.
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Regenerative Medicine Treatments
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Shoe inserts are non-prescription foot support that is placed inside the shoes. You can buy them in stores without a prescription from a podiatrist.