You might actually be wondering, what is Morton’s Neuroma, and what its relation to foot pain is. Morton’s neuroma is when the nerve in the ball of your foot starts to swell. This causes discomfort, tingling sensations, and numbness in your foot. Morton’s neuroma isn’t a condition, but it is an indication of an underlying pathology. People, who participate in sports that place a heavy demand on your feet, and women who wear high heels regularly, are usually the most at risk.
Morton’s neuroma is very widespread and painful. Typical symptoms include numbness in your toes, an aching pain very well localized in the ball of the foot. It is typically between the 3rd and 4th toes, but can also be found between the 2nd and 3rd toes. It is rare to see this in both feet, and occasionally can be found in both feet. If it is not an neuroma it could be a ganglion, bursa, or rupture of the metatarsal phalangeal joint.
When you experience discomfort in the ball of your foot, you might be suffering from Morton’s neuroma.
There are several ways to treat a neuroma, but first its presence must be confirmed. Typically a series of xrays are taken, then a diagnostic ultrasound is performed. Between these two tests plus the doctors examination the diagnosis can be made, occasionally an MRI is required. Conservative home therapy consists of proper fitting shoes, pads that separate the affected metatarsal bones, appropriate biomechanical control with foot, orthotics.
Tight fitting shoes and high heels aggravate the symptoms. For this reason, women are far likely to develop Morton’s neuroma than men.
The first step in treating a neuroma is utilizing pure alcohol injections, a series of 3-7 may be needed at 10-14 day intervals. The alcohol shrinks the outer covering of the nerve, thereby alleviating your discomfort, making the neuroma go away. If you achieve 30-40% relief after 3 then it is worth moving on to a few more injections. Otherwise 2 other options must be considered to treat this problem.
There will be times when surgery is recommended or necessary. Here are a few types of techniques performed:
The M.I.N.D. Procedure – Minimally Invasive Neuroma Decompression is a technique that inserts a small instrument that releases the metatarsal ligament, which is pressing down on the swollen irritated nerve.
Alternatively there is excising (removing ) the swollen irritated nerve, this is typically the last step, should all of the other methods fail to alleviate your pain.
One encouraging fact is that up to 90% of all patients respond to alcohol injection therapy and do not require Morton’s neuroma surgery. Talk to your podiatrist to find out your best options. You should always get checked by a podiatrist before agreeing to any kind of foot surgery.
Contact Talus inMotion Foot & Ankle to schedule a consultation today.