Morton’s Neuroma

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a swollen benign growth located in the ball of the foot, between the bones. The most common place for a Morton’s neuroma to appear is in usually the second or the third space from the base of the big toe.

This neuroma is a thickening of the tissue that surrounds the nerve between two toes and is mostly found in women who often wear tight shoes or high heels.

What are the Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

Someone suffering with a Morton’s neuroma will experience a very sharp pain accompanied by numbness on the bottom of the foot localized to the growth area. The pain can radiate through to the nearby toes and even the entire foot. The pain can increase when a person is walking or exerting any pressure on the feet through lifting a heavy object and climbing stairs or a ladder.

Morton’s neuroma is usually diagnosed by a doctor that can feel the actual growth and an area of thickening in your foot. It may be necessary for the doctor to press on different areas of the foot to diagnose the centralized area of the Morton’s neuroma.

Morton’s Neuroma Causes

Morton’s neuroma causes great pain in the bottom of the foot. This pain develops when some form of irritation affects the nerves between the toes. When this irritation occurs, the nerves grow thicker, and the nerves become compressed against the toe bones.

There are a number of ways that the initial irritation of the nerves of the foot can occur. Those who jog or run frequently often develop this condition as they are constantly putting pressure and stress on the bottom of the foot. Athletes who play tennis frequently develop Morton’s neuroma as they push off from different parts of the foot throughout a match.

Wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly is a known cause of Morton’s neuroma. Shoes that are too tight compress the foot and smash the nerves up against the bones of the feet. Women who wear high heels are very prone to developing Morton’s neuroma.

Having another foot problem can lead to Morton’s neuroma developing. When there is pain in the foot, one will often walk in an abnormal manner. This may cause irritation in the nerves between the toes.

How is Morton’s Neuroma Treated?

Treatments of Morton’s neuroma include:

Proper shoes

A person may just need to wear proper footwear. A person diagnosed with a Morton’s neuroma should stay away from pointed-toe and narrow shoes as well as high heels. Also avoid shoes with very thin soles. Shoes must be comfortable and not cause pressure to the feet.

Protective shoe pads

Protective pads can be bought to insert into the shoe. Alternatively a person can obtain a prescription for orthotics from a foot specialist such as a podiatrist.

Injections

Steroid or local anaesthesia injections into the affected area of the foot may be needed in addition to the footwear in order to alleviate pain. In some places, this procedure can be completed by a radiologist who can provide the injection while completing an ultrasound scan. It can also be done by an orthopaedic surgeon or foot specialist.

Morton’s Neuroma Prevention

The best way to prevent the development of Morton’s neuroma is to prevent the irritation that gives rise to the condition in the first place. There are some simple ways to accomplish this.

Always wear shoes that are comfortable and fit properly. Make sure the shoes have enough padding in the soles to provide a proper cushion. If the shoes need more cushion, add a padded insole into the shoe for more comfort. High heeled shoes should be avoided as they lead to this and other problems in the feet.

Being overweight adds stress to the feet when standing and walking. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight will help to reduce the chances of developing Morton’s neuroma.