Everything You Need to Know About Morton’s Neuroma
What is it and how is it treated?
If you’ve ever been walking or out for a jog and felt a sudden pain or pressure in the ball of your foot, like around a third of Americans, you may have Morton’s neuroma.
Our team of orthopedic foot and ankle specialists here at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, offer expert diagnosis and treatment to ease your pain and help you get back to your regular activities and have a pain-free life.
What is Morton’s neuroma?
Let’s start at the beginning. A Morton’s neuroma is a benign growth that forms around the nerves in your foot. The ligaments between the metatarsal bones in your foot thicken, usually between your third and fourth toes, although they can form in other parts of your foot.
The thickened tissue presses on the nerves that pass through the ball of the foot. The compression irritates your nerve, which eventually leads to nerve damage.
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Neuromas form from persistent nerve pressure. In your feet, it could be caused by wearing high heels or tight shoes that squeeze your feet.
Runners and other athletes who put plenty of miles on their feet put repetitive strain on the nerves in their feet. High-impact activities also put pressure on the nerve tissue.
Your foot shape can also increase your risk of getting an intermetatarsal neuroma. If you have flat feet or other congenital deformities, it could increase the pressure on the nerve in the ball of the foot.
Additionally, conditions such as hammertoes and bunions can increase your chances of forming a neuroma.
What does a neuroma feel like?
Many patients describe a neuroma as feeling like they’re stepping on a marble or a stone. Neuroma also causes symptoms, including:
- Foot pain
- Burning pain in the ball of the foot and toes
- Numbness in your foot or toes
Physical activity can aggravate your symptoms, as can high-heeled shoes or wearing shoes with a toe box that squeezes your feet.
How are neuromas diagnosed?
Our orthopedic foot surgeons and podiatrist provide a physical exam to diagnose the condition causing your pain.
They might feel your feet, checking for a palpable mass, a clicking sensation, and to see if the pressure triggers your symptoms. They may order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to check for stress fractures or arthritis, which could cause similar symptoms.
What are the latest treatments for Morton’s neuroma?
Following your diagnosis, your foot specialist creates a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
In many cases, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatments to reduce pressure on your feet, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Footwear changes
If these noninvasive treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor might suggest corticosteroid injections to reduce the inflammation in and around the nerve to relieve your pain.
How can I make my neuroma feel better?
If you have neuroma pain, your first step should be rest and at-home care, including ice. You should also make an appointment with our team here at OrthoNeuro as soon as you suspect that you have a neuroma or another foot problem.
The earlier you get a diagnosis and implement changes to relieve pressure on the nerves in your feet, the less likely you are to experience severe pain or other complications.
Call our office in Columbus, Ohio, or schedule a consultation online for expert diagnosis for foot and ankle problems like Morton’s neuroma.
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