What is a Neuroma of the Foot?
It is a common condition of the foot in which a benign growth of nerve tissues develops in the foot, usually between the third and fourth toe. It feels like a small pebble is stuck between your toes. However, it can be extremely painful.
What Causes Neuroma in Foot?
The most common causes of this condition are as follows:
- High-Heeled Shoes– Women are more susceptible to this condition than men precisely because they wear high-heel shoes. High-heels put extra pressure on the balls of your feet, which causes the tissues to thicken.
- Ill-Fitting Shoes– Shoes that are too tight for your feet can also put pressure on feet tissues and nerves, increasing the risk of this condition.
- Sports– High-impact sporting activities such as jogging and running may also cause it. Moreover, sports that require us to wear tight-fitting shoes such as snow skiing and mountain climbing also increase the risk of having it.
- Foot conditions– Individuals who suffer from foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, and high arches are more likely to have it.
- Foot Trauma– A trauma to the foot can cause nerve inflammation, which triggers this condition.
- Repetitive Stress Injury– Wear and tear injuries common in athletes and individuals with active lifestyles and work injuries can also cause it.
Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma
The most common symptoms associated with Morton’s neuroma are:
- You may feel as though a small pebble is stuck between your toes.
- You may feel a sharp, stinging, and burning pain in your feet’ ball, that may radiate in your toes.
- You may experience a burning sensation in your toes.
- Your toes may feel numb.
- Your movement may be restricted because the pain and discomfort will increase when you stand or walk.
- Your symptoms are likely to worsen with time.
How to Treat A Neuroma in The Foot?
The treatment depends on the severity of the condition. If it is identified in the early stages, it can be treated with some home remedies and conventional medicine. However, if the symptoms worsen, then surgery may be the only option left.
Non-Surgical Foot Neuroma Treatments
The main goal of treatments is to relieve pressure from the areas where it is most likely to appear. An under-developed neuroma can be treated with rest and proper footwear.
Doctors may recommend the following non-surgical treatments:
- Rest– Giving your feet a break from walking and bearing your body’s weight is likely to cure under-developed Neuroma. Doctors may recommend restricted movement until the symptoms stop.
- Applying Ice– Applying an ice pack to the affected area may provide relief to the irritated nerve. Ice packs should be applied as per your doctor’s recommendation.
- Padding– The doctor shall recommend you medicated pads or soles to make your feet more comfortable. Medicated soles support the arch of the heel and reduce pressure on foot nerves.
- Foot Massages– Foot massages increase blood circulation in the feet, reducing inflammation and pain in the nerves.
- Exercises– Your doctor or physiotherapist may prescribe foot exercises that can be useful in treating it. Exercises increase the space between the metatarsals (bones of the feet) to provide relief.
- Non-Steroidal Pain Medication– Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen to alleviate pain.
If all these treatments fail to provide relief from the symptoms, the doctor will prescribe them:
- A corticosteroid shot– A steroid injection in the affected area that will reduce inflammation and pain. If it continues to worsen despite these treatments, then your doctor may recommend surgery.
Surgical Foot Neuroma Treatments
- Cryogenic Surgery or Cold Therapy– Cold therapy is like nerve ablation- extremely cold temperatures are applied to the affected nerve, ultimately killing the damaged nerve cells. Once the damaged nerve cells are dead, they cannot cause inflammation and pain.
- Decompression Surgery– The ligaments and other soft tissue structures around the affected nerve are removed to relieve pressure from the nerve.
- Neurectomy or Nerve Removal Surgery– A procedure in which the nerve’s damaged parts are removed.
Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation at Complete Medical Wellness for Morton’s Neuroma.
How Long Is Recovery After Surgery for Morton's Neuroma?
Post-surgery recovery time depends on the severity of your condition and the type of surgery you receive. Typically, the following recovery times can be expected:
- Decompression surgery – within one week of surgery.
- Neurectomy – 1 – 6 weeks.
- Cold Therapy – 1- 3 weeks.
How Can I Prevent Neuroma?
Yes, you can prevent it by:
- Wearing comfortable, wide-toed shoes.
- Wearing shoes with adequate padding.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- If you are an athlete or have an active lifestyle, you should engage in preventive physiotherapy.