Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a painful benign fibrotic enlargement and swelling of the 3rd common digital nerve in the foot often as a result of nerve compression or micro-trauma. This entrapment syndrome is more common in females possibly due to certain shoe gear with high heels and a small toe box. When walking, especially in these types of constrictive shoe gear, the common digital nerve becomes compressed between the adjacent metatarsal bones and against the deep transverse metatarsal ligament.

The following are common symptoms of Morton’s neuroma that patients may experience:

  • Burning pain, numbness, and/or electrical cramping sensation that occasional radiates to the toes
  • Sharp pain that worsen when weight bearing, barefoot walking, and/or in narrow shoe gear
  • Splaying of adjacent toes to the affected interspace upon weight bearing
  • The feeling of walking on a wrinkled up sock or a pebble
  • Pain with palpation of the affected interspace
  • Relief with shoe removal

The treatment for Morton’s neuroma may begin conservatively with simply some shoe gear modifications such as avoiding high-heeled shoes, constrictive narrow shoes, and choosing shoes with a wider toe box. Applying metatarsal padding may also help to relieve pressure proximal to the neuroma by helping spread the metatarsal heads out. A similar concept is to get custom orthotics with the metatarsal pad to help alleviate the pressure on the metatarsal heads. Other conservative treatments your podiatrist may recommend are NSAIDs, physical therapy, and activity modifications. Injections into the affected interspace with corticosteroids or sclerosing alcohol may also help alleviate the pain and shrink the neuroma down. If after a series of injections are not providing pain relief, your physician may surgically decompress the nerve or perform a neurectomy of excising out the neuroma.

Start your New Year off on the right foot and call your podiatrist today if you are experiencing symptoms of Morton’s neuroma as this is a common painful forefoot condition that can be treated.

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