Neuroma (Morton's Neuroma)

Neuroma, also known as Morton’s neuroma, is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot, typically between the third and fourth toes. It is caused by the thickening of the tissue surrounding the nerves leading to the toes, which can cause sharp, burning pain, tingling, or numbness in the affected area. Neuroma can be a progressive condition, and if left untreated, it can cause significant pain and discomfort, and lead to difficulty walking and other foot problems.

Causes:

The exact cause of neuroma is not known, but it is believed to be related to repetitive stress or injury to the nerves in the foot. Some of the common factors that contribute to the development of neuroma include:

  1. Foot structure: People with high arches or flat feet are more prone to developing neuroma.

  2. Footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight or have a narrow toe box can put pressure on the nerves in the foot and cause neuroma.

  3. Activities: Participating in high-impact sports or activities that require repetitive stress on the feet can also contribute to the development of neuroma.

Differential Diagnosis:

Other conditions that may cause similar symptoms to neuroma include:

  1. Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel of the foot. It can also cause pain in the ball of the foot, which may be mistaken for neuroma.

  2. Stress fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones of the foot, which can cause pain and swelling in the affected area.

  3. Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints in the body, causing pain and inflammation. It can also affect the joints in the foot, causing pain that may be mistaken for neuroma.

 

     

     

    Treatment Options:

    Treatment options for neuroma depend on the severity of the condition. Mild to moderate cases can be managed with conservative treatments, while severe cases may require surgery. Some of the common treatment options for neuroma include:

    1. Footwear changes: Wearing shoes that fit properly and have a wide toe box can help alleviate pressure on the nerves in the foot and prevent the progression of the condition.

    2. Orthotics: Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) can help redistribute the pressure on the foot and relieve pain.

    3. Physical therapy: Exercises that stretch and strengthen the foot muscles can help improve foot function and reduce pain.

    4. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate pain and inflammation.

    5. Injections: Steroid injections can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.

    6. Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the thickened tissue and alleviate pain and discomfort.

    Recovery:

    Recovery from neuroma surgery can take several weeks to months, depending on the extent of the procedure. It is important to follow the postoperative instructions provided by the podiatrist to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Some of the common recovery tips include:

    1. Rest: It is important to rest the foot and avoid putting weight on it for a few weeks after surgery.

    2. Ice and elevation: Elevating the foot and applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and pain.

    3. Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to improve foot function and reduce pain.

    4. Follow-up appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with the podiatrist are necessary to monitor the healing process and ensure that the foot is healing properly.

    Neuroma is a painful condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot. It is important to seek medical attention from a podiatrist if you suspect that you have neuroma. Early intervention can help prevent the progression

    Get more information