Morton’s Neuroma (Intermetatarsal Neuroma)
What is a neuroma?
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. Morton’s neuroma is the most common neuroma in the foot. It is most commonly found in the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes.
- Compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma.
- Wearing tight, tapered shoes or high-heeled shoes can irritate the nerve.
- People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, or flat fleet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma.
- Tingling, burning numbness of the toes
- Toe pain
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A feeling that there’s something in the shoe
- Padding- provides support for the metatarsal arch by lessening the pressure on the nerve and decreasing the compression when walking
- Icing-placing an icepack on the affected area helps to reduce swelling
- Orthotics- custom orthotics prove the support needed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve
- Change in physical activity- avoid activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma
- Shoe modifications- wear shoes with a wide toe box, avoid narrow toed or high-heeled shoes
- Medications-oral anti-inflammatory drugs (ie. Ibuprofen) can help to reduce pain and inflammation
- Injection therapy- treatment may include injections of cortisone or other local anesthetics
When is surgery needed?
Surgery may be considered in patients who have not responded adequately to non-surgical treatments. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine the approach that is best for your condition.
Your surgeon will recommend long-term measures to help keep your symptoms from returning. These include appropriate footwear and modification of activities to reduce the repetitive pressure on the foot.