Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition of the nerve close to the balls of your feet. The nerve becomes irritated and inflamed because it is compressed by the ligament (intermetatarsal ligament) that holds the two long bones (metatarsals) either side of it. This process leads to the formation of scar tissue around the nerve.
It is quite likely that high heeled and narrow shoes contribute to this condition. As such, women are more likely to experience Morton’s Neuroma than males.
Morton’s Neuroma can feel like a lump or a rolled-up sock in the web space between your 3rd and 4th toes where it usually occurs. Less frequently it occurs in the spaces between the other toes.
It can also cause a burning pain between the metatarsal heads (balls of your feet) that radiates into the toes. Patients may also experience numbness into these toes.
Diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma can often be made on examination alone. Alternatively, it may be necessary to proceed to ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Initially, non-surgical treatment is used to manage Morton’s Neuroma.
A visit to the Orthotist or Podiatrist might be useful. They should be able to provide you with advice about wearing appropriate shoes. In addition, they can provide special insoles with a “metatarsal dome” that may help relieve pain by separating the metatarsal heads to reduce pressure on the nerve.
Pain killers prescribed by your Doctor can assist in reducing pain. An injection of corticosteroid medication can bring some temporary relief by reducing swelling and inflammation of the nerve.
A further option called Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) can be performed by referral to a Radiologist. This involves “deadening” the nerve, so it stops sending painful signals to your brain.
If non-surgical means have failed, then surgery is indicated. Surgery involves removing the nerve and dividing the intermetatarsal ligament. The incision is placed on the top of the foot in the affected webspace. Most patients’ symptoms significantly improve after surgical intervention. As the nerve supplying that area is removed, you can expect to lose some feeling in the web space between the toes. This should not affect your ability to perform your usual activities.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Please contact Mr Goldbloom's rooms to discuss if surgery is appropriate for your situation.