Morton's Neuroma - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
Morton's neuroma is a thickening of the tissue that surrounds the digital nerve leading to the toes. The condition most frequently develops between the third and fourth toes, usually in response to irritation, trauma or excessive pressure. The condition is far more common in women.
Signs and Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma
- Burning pain in the ball of the foot that may radiate into the toes. The pain generally intensifies with activity or wearing shoes.
- There may also be numbness in the toes, or an unpleasant feeling in the toes.
- Pain may increase with tight, narrow shoes.
Morton's Neuroma Treatment
Initial therapies are nonsurgical and relatively simple. They can involve one or more of the following treatments:
- Changes in footwear. Avoid high heels or tight shoes, and wear wider shoes with lower heels and a soft sole. This enables the bones to spread out and may reduce pressure on the nerve, giving it time to heal.
- Orthoses or custom shoe inserts and pads also help relieve irritation by lifting and separating the bones, reducing the pressure on the nerve.
- Injection. One or more injections of a corticosteroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerve, bringing some relief.
Several studies have shown that a combination of roomier, more comfortable shoes, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, custom foot orthoses and cortisone injections provide relief in over 80 percent of people with Morton's Neuroma. If conservative treatment does not relieve your symptoms, your orthopaedic surgeon may discuss surgical treatment options with you. Surgery involves resection of a small portion of the nerve and the recovery period is typically short.