Mortons Neuroma

by Sam Malone


Morton’s neuroma is a condition that most commonly affects the region between the third and forth toes. It also affects the ball of the feet. This condition makes you feel like you’re standing on a stone inside the shoe or on a fold in the socks. In Morton’s Neuroma, the tissues around one of the nerves that lead to the toes become thickened. This enlargement or thickening results from an irritation or compression of the nerve. Sometimes, this condition can cause a burning and sharp pain in the ball of the feet. There may also be numbness, burning, or a stinging sensation in the toes. The compression causes the enlargement of the nerve, which can eventually lead to nerve damage that is permanent.

Symptoms

If you have Morton’s neuroma, you will experience one or more of the symptoms given below where the damage in the nerve occurs. The symptoms include:

  • Numbness, burning or tingling
  • Pain in the foot that becomes worse with walking
  • A sensation of something present inside the ball of the foot
  • A sensation that there is some object inside the shoe or the sock is folded up
  • Morton’s Neuroma progresses in the following pattern:
  • The symptoms start off gradually. Initially, they only occur occasionally when wearing shoes that are narrow-toed or performing activities that are aggravating.
  • The symptoms may temporarily go away when the shoe is removed, avoiding the activities that aggravate it, or by massaging the foot.
  • In time, the symptoms will worsen progressively and may persist for many days or even weeks. The symptoms will increase in intensity with the enlargement of the neuroma and the nerves’ temporary changes will become permanent.

Diagnosis

To get a Morton’s neuroma diagnosis, your ankle and foot surgeon will examine your foot and go through the history of your symptoms. In the physical examination, the doctor will try to reproduce the symptoms by moving the foot around. Other imaging studies and tests may also be done. The right time to get checked by your ankle and foot surgeon is early on, when the symptoms are developed. Getting an early diagnosis will reduce the requirement for more invasive treatments and may avoid the necessity for surgery.

Treatment

In creating a treatment plan, your ankle and foot surgeon will check the duration of your Morton’s neuroma and its development stage. The approaches for treatment will differ according to the problems severity. Some natural ways to heal Morton’s neuroma that is mild to moderate include the following:

  • Padding: The technique of padding gives support to the metatarsal arch and hence, reduces the pressure on the nerve and the compression while walking.
  • Icing: This is one of the effective home remedies that involve soaking the feet in ice water for 10–15 minutes. This will bring a lot of relief to the pain.
  • Activity Modification: Activities that keep putting pressure on the neuroma should be avoided till there is improvement in the condition.
  • Shoe Modifications: Wear shoes that have a wide toe box and refrain from wearing shoes with high heels.
  • Other natural cures include giving your feet regular rest. You should elevate your feet when you rest them.

Surgery may be necessary in patients who do not respond well to nonsurgical treatments. Your ankle and foot surgeon will inform you of the best approach. The duration of the recovery period will differ depending on the kind of surgery performed. Whether or not you have undergone surgery, you will be advised on long-term measures to prevent the symptoms from recurring. These will include wearing proper foot wear and modifying activities to reduce the pressure on the foot.

References:

  1. Jon Greenfield, James Jr. Rea, Frederic Ilfeld, Morton’s Interdigital Neuroma: Indications for Treatment by Local Injections versus Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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