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Mortons Neuroma - Symptoms and Treatment

Morton's neuroma is a benign neuroma of the interdigital plantar nerve. Morton's neuroma occurs in a nerve in your foot, often between your third and fourth toes. Morton's neuroma is not actually a tumor, but a thickening of the tissue that surrounds the digital nerve leading to the toes. It occurs as the nerve passes under the ligament connecting the toe bones (metatarsals) in the forefoot. Also called plantar neuroma or intermetatarsal neuroma, Morton's neuroma may occur in response to irritation, injury or pressure such as from wearing tightfitting shoes. But Morton's neuroma may also occur for unknown reasons. Treatments for Morton's neuroma commonly involve changing footwear, resting your foot, and using arch supports or pads to help take pressure off the area. In some cases, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory drugs, a cortisone injection or even surgery if you have Morton's neuroma.

Morton's neuroma is a benign inflammation of the nerves (nerves carry feeling to and from the brain and rest of the body). It can effect any of the toes in the foot. Symptoms of this condition include sharp pain, burning, and even a lack of feeling in the affected area.  A Morton's neuroma is a benign growth of the nerve sheath of a nerve that courses between the toes. This condition is an abnormal growth, but it is not a cancer that can become a dangerous condition. Rather, the Morton's neuroma can become a painful nuisance. Occasionally, people may also experience symptoms of shooting pains or tingling extending into the toe adjacent to the neuroma. Pain is usually most significant with more strenuous activity and when wearing shoes with a narrow toebox. Most patients find removing their shoes and massaging the feet is an effective means to reduce the pain they experience. Wearing appropriate footwear (with a wide toebox) and use of so-called metatarsal pad are also effective. About 25% of patients will experience complete resolution of their symptoms by taking these steps. If footwear adaptation and some mild analgesic medications do not help the situation, then surgery may be needed. Surgery is done to remove the abnormal nerve. When the entire growth is removed, the pain is usually resolved. Patients will also notice a small area of numbness in the toe. Sensation in the numb area was provided by the affected nerve and when the Morton's neuroma is removed an area of numbness will result. It is important for patients to know, prior to undergoing surgery, that about 15-20% of the time the pain will not resolve entirely following the operation to remove the Morton's neuroma.

Causes of Mortons Neuroma

Common Causes of Mortons Neuroma :

  • Obesity
  • Injuries to the foot
  • Diabetes.
  • Smoking.
  • Poor nutrition .
  • Use of certain medications.

Symptoms of Mortons Neuroma

Some common Symptoms of Mortons Neuroma :

  • Tingling.
  • Burning, or numbness.
  • Pain.
  • Cramping.
  • A lump between the bases of the toes.
  • Pain.
  • Numbness.

Treatment of Mortons Neuroma

  • Avoid high heels.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • If there is no significant improvement after initial treatment, injection therapy may be tried.
  • Arch supports.
  • Activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma should be avoided until the condition improves.
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes.
  • Placing an icepack on the affected area helps reduce swelling.








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