Morton's Neuroma

Posted Monday, July 23, 2018

Did You Know? Up to One-Third of the Population have Morton's Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma is Benign, Yet Painful


This Condition Causes You to Feel Like You Are Walking With a Pebble in Your Shoe

Morton’s neuroma occurs in the foot and produces pain. It arises from the nerve tissue thickening between the bones of the foot. The excess tissue creates pressure against the nerve, causing irritation.  

The following guide provides information on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Morton’s neuroma. 

01 | Causes

The definite cause of Morton’s neuroma is uncertain. There are factors that make you more susceptible to developing this condition. Risk factors include:

  • High heels that place extra pressure on your toes and ball of your foot
  • Tight-fitted shoes with minimal toe space and poor arch support
  • High-impact sports that cause repetitive trauma to your feet
  • Feet deformities such as flat feet, high arches, hammertoes or bunions

 02 | Symptoms

There is not a visible sign of this condition, but instead, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Burning pain in the ball of the foot that may radiate into your toes
  • Tingling or numbing sensation in your toes
  • Discomfort worsens when you are walking or wearing shoes
  • Temporary relief by taking off your shoes, flexing your toes and rubbing your feet

03 | Diagnosis

Your physician will press on your foot, typically on the spaces between the toe bones, to check for a tender spot or mass.  To confirm, your doctor will use:

  • A range of motion tests to rule out arthritis or joint inflammations
  • X-rays to rule out stress fractures
  • Ultrasounds and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to reveal soft tissue abnormalities

04 | Treatment

Initially, your treatment may be simple. It may include changing the type of shoes you wear or adding padding to them. You may also need to regularly have ice massages or take breaks from activities that involve high impact on your feet. 

Further treatment may include taking anti-inflammatory medications or injections of corticosteroid to reduce swelling of the nerve. If conservative treatments do not help alleviate your symptoms, decompression surgery or surgically removing the nerve may become an option. 

For additional resources on Morton’s neuroma please visit: 

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