A neuroma is an enlarged, benign growth of nerves. It is a thickening of the tissue around the nerve and is sometimes referred to as a "pinched nerve." Morton's neuroma is a thickening of tissues around the nerve that leads to the toes. Morton's neuroma usually develops between the third and fourth toes.
Causes of Morton's Neuroma
- Biomechanical deformities, such as a flat foot or a high-arched foot
- Trauma that damages the nerve
- Wearing shoes, such as high-heeled shoes (especially those over two inches) and narrow-toed shoes, that put pressure on your toes by squeezing them
Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma
- Burning in the ball of your foot
- Numbness and tingling in the ball of your foot
- Pain in the forefoot or between the toes or pain in the ball of your foot when you place weight on it
- Sensation of thickness in the ball of the foot
Treatments for Morton's Neuroma
The following conservative treatments are considered and often offered first:
- Custom-made orthotics--NOPA offers more than 150 unique varieties
- Rest, massage, and ice packs provide temporary relief from pain
- Steroid injection therapy--corticosteroid medication typically reduces swelling and inflammation
- Wearing roomier, lower-heeled footwear and shoes with thick, shock-absorbent soles
If conservative treatments do not stop the pain, these treatments may be offered:
- Neuroplasty, a procedure in which a small incision is made to release the ligament between the metatarsals, thus relieving pressure on the nerve
- Sclerosing therapy, a procedure in which a weak alcohol solution is injected into the area with the goal of reducing the targeted nerve's ability to transmit pain signals
- Surgery to remove the nerve
Prevention of Morton's Neuroma
- The best way to prevent the aggravation of a neuroma that develops is to avoid wearing high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes and to wear roomy, comfortable shoes with adequate padding in the ball of the foot.
For more information on Morton's neuroma treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.