Neuroma, also known as “Morton’s neuroma,” is a pinched nerve, or benign growth of nerve tissue characterized by pain occurring around the ball of the foot (typically between the third and fourth toes). Individuals suffering from neuroma often feel pain between the toes while walking.
Neuromas are often associated with:
Advancements in Sclerosing Injections for neuromas has a very high success rate for permanent treatment.
Other conservative treatment options for neuromas include adding arch supports and orthotics for shoes to relieve pressure, practicing physical therapy such as stretching exercises and massage, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and rest.
Surgical treatment options for neuroma include removing part of the nerve tissue through neurectomy, freezing the nerves using cryogenic neuroablation, and decompression surgery which relieves pressure on the nerve by carefully severing certain ligaments.
Recovery time for nerve decompression is fairly quick, with weight bearing possible right after surgery. For neurectomy, recovery can range from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the location of the incision.
Patients should limit activities and elevate their feet as often as possible after all surgical treatments.
A true neuroma is not an oncological concern, but a benign growth of the peripheral nerves. The most common cause of a neuroma is trauma or pressure on the nerves at the bottom, or ‘ball’, of the foot. The intermetatarsal space where the common ‘Morton’s neuroma’ is found is a limited or confined space that does not expand, thus contributing to the pain, numbness, or tingling symptoms.
Walking barefoot is not good for a Morton’s neuroma. If symptomatic, a Morton’s neuroma will be more painful when barefoot since more direct pressure is placed on the ball of the foot, and a lack of pressure transferred into the arch, especially when walking on a hard surface.
The best way to treat a neuroma is with a shrinking or ‘sclerosing’ injection and/or transferring more pressure into the archway with an arch support or custom molded orthotic. Temporary relief with a weak or water-soluble cortisone injection is an option, but there are some aesthetic and possible serious side effects. With conservative treatment failure and extreme pain, surgical options are also available.
This patient was kind enough to share her experience with injecting the ‘sclerosing agent’ for her neuroma pain in the clinic. After 3 or 4 injections, she combined custom molded orthotics with her treatment and is now pain free.
Contact Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists today to discuss treatment options for your foot and ankle issues, including painful neuromas.
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