Neuroma

Neuroma

What is a Neuroma?

Basically, a neuroma (commonly called a pinched nerve) is a thickening of nerve tissue. A neuroma can form in various areas of the body, but the most common neuroma in the foot is called Morton’s neuroma. This condition is named after the American surgeon Thomas George Morton who published the first complete description of this particular neuroma. The term intermetatarsal neuroma describes its most common location between the third and fourth toe bones (metatarsals). Location of a Morton's Neuroma

What Are the Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

A neuroma begins to form as a result of compression or irritation of the plantar nerve. This leads to thickening and swelling of the nerve and, over time, nerve damage. The thickening mass that forms between the metatarsals can cause numbness, pain, a sensation of tingling or burning, or the feeling of having a small pebble lodged under the ball of the foot. Pain in the bottom of the foot due to a Neuroma

Who Gets a Foot Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma frequently happens in women because of their affinity for shoes that expose their toes to excessive pressure – think high heels or narrow toe boxes. High impact activities involving repetitive movements of the forefoot can also result in neuromas – aerobics, tennis, jogging, running. In fact, Morton’s Neuroma is a common problem in runners, especially women runners.

Home Treatment

At the first sign of trouble, don’t ignore the symptoms. Aggressive conservative treatment right at the beginning of the problem may prevent things from getting worse. Ignoring the pain of Morton’s neuroma is not a treatment – the pain is only likely to increase! Try these options first to relieve your pain:

In-Office Treatment

If you have tried everything and you are still in pain, it’s time to visit Eastside Podiatry. 

Treatment of Last Resort

If less-invasive treatments fail to provide relief, surgery is an option. The downside is that surgery often results in the permanent numbness of one or more toes and it can take up to six months to fully recover. 

Don’t Wait to Get Help

Frequently, runners tend to ignore their foot pain believing that they can just “run” through it. Unfortunately, when these runners do eventually consult a podiatrist, they present with significant symptoms. Keep in mind that if not treated, Morton’s neuroma can limit your ability to continue running.

Author
Eastside Podiatry PLC

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