What Is Morton's Neuroma?

Jul 20, 2021

Morton’s neuroma is a condition where an enlargement of a nerve in the foot causes altered sensation, for example: numbness, burning, tingling and/or shooting pain. These symptoms usually present in the ball of the foot and affect women more often than men.

What Causes Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Direct compression or pressure on the nerve and usually, although not always, is found to affect the nerve between the third and fourth toe. Women are affected more often as a result of wearing high heels or other narrow fitting footwear that increases the compression of the nerve.

 

  • Direct trauma to the nerve or any dysfunctional movements during walking/standing that may be causing additional pressure. For example, a patient with a high arch or instep has an increased amount of pressure across the ball of their feet and ‘pinching’ or compression of the nerve may develop. Similarly if a patient’s foot mechanics (motion) is causing them to roll out (supinate), this can also compress and thicken the nerve. Your podiatrist can easily assess you for these common foot mechanical issues.

 

Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term for altered sensation across the ball of your foot. If you experience any numbness, burning or shooting pain within this area, nerve compression and thickening may be occurring.

 

It is important to understand that, altered sensation can occur in your toes also as a result i.e. stinging/numbness.

Many patients seen at the CLINIC with Morton’s Neuroma describe the sensation as having a pebble trapped under their foot with some of the additional symptoms described above.

 

How Can The Nerve Morton’s Neuroma Be Treated Effectively?

  • Firstly your podiatrist will investigate if thickening has occurred and isolate the affected nerve by performing a series of tests. The cause of your Morton’s neuroma will then be identified and a treatment plan implemented.

 

  • If the neuroma has been caused by poor or unstable foot mechanics, treatment may involve correcting the dysfunctional movement and reduce compression with the use of orthotics/insoles.

 

  • It may be a case also of just changing your footwear to a lower heeled shoe with additional room for your toes to move to avoid this compression and further aggravation.

 

  • If your podiatrist feels it is necessary, a referral can be made to a surgical consultant for possible removal of the affected tissues.

 

  • Corticosteroid injections can also give relief by reducing nerve swelling and we will recommend if this is the correct option for you.

 

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