Is your foot often sore, and it gives you the sensation of standing on a pebble in your shoe, or it feels as though there’s an irritating fold or bunch in your sock? If this sounds all too familiar, it’s possible that you are suffering from a condition called Morton Neuroma, and it’s time to see a specialist. You can expect the pain from this condition to feel like tingling or numbness in the front of your foot. It’s vital to seek treatment at this stage, so that it doesn’t develop into a more significant problem, such as permanent nerve damage.
Interestingly, Morton’s Neuroma is 8 to 10 times more likely to occur in women than men. And although it’s quite a painful condition affecting the ball of your foot, seeking a diagnosis will quickly put you on the road to recovery.
This post looks at the causes of Morton’s Neuroma, how to relieve the pain and Morton Neuroma treatment, and how Yeargain Foot & Ankle can help you heal.
What Is Morton Neuroma?
A Neuroma is the thickening of the tissue around a nerve that develops in various body parts. A Morton’s Neuroma is the most common Neuroma in the foot, occurring between the third and fourth toes. It can be referred to as an intermetatarsal Neuroma which describes its location in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones. This is painful, and you can expect to experience a sharp pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in the affected area and around the adjacent toes. Seeking treatment for a neuroma is vital to prevent the Neuroma from becoming more extensive, resulting in permanent nerve damage.
What Causes Morton’s Neuroma?
There are many causes of Morton’s Neuroma, but the condition arises due to compression and irritation of the nerve. The compression creates inflammation and enlargement of the nerve, ultimately leading to permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
One of the most common causes is wearing high-heeled shoes that increase pressure at the ball of the foot and toe box, or shoes with a tapered, narrow toe box. People with other foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, flat fleet, or more flexible feet are typically at higher risk of developing a neuroma. In addition, sports such as running, dancing, or court sports that involve repetitive pressure to the ball of the foot can also cause a neuroma to form.
What Does Morton’s Neuroma Look Like?
You won’t always see physical signs of a Neuroma. However, if the inflammation is severe enough, you may notice swelling between the affected spaces that may cause the toes to separate, called Sullivan’s sign. Painful symptoms typically occur when wearing narrow-toed shoes, very flat shoes with no support or barefooted, or performing certain aggravating activities before progressively worsening.
How To Relieve Pain From Morton’s Neuroma?
Relief of symptoms of a Neuroma usually requires the patient to remove the tapered, narrow shoe or high-heel, massage the area, and avoid aggravating shoes or activities. If you don’t take these steps to relieve the pain, you’ll find a flare-up of the Neuroma is on the cards. Other modalities to alleviate pain include icing, NSAIDs to decrease the inflammation around the nerve, and wearing shoes with less tapered toe box. If symptoms continue to worsen, it’s advised to seek a foot and ankle specialist for further management.
How Long Does Morton’s Neuroma Last?
The duration of the condition is, of course, dependent on the patient and the severity of the condition. The symptoms may present and dissipate after a few days but will gradually worsen if you don’t eliminate the factors irritating the nerve. On average, some experience burning, numbness, tingling, or pain for up to a couple of weeks before seeking treatment. Trying at-home conservative methods such as icing, NSAIDS, and rest can help decrease the duration of a neuroma. However, if the pain continues, it is prudent that you seek a foot and ankle specialist to treat the Neuroma properly before it becomes more severe. Allowing a neuroma to linger for weeks can lead to permanent nerve damage.
The Path To Morton Neuroma Treatment At YF&A
Initially, we will use all nonsurgical or conservative Morton Neuroma treatment methods. These involve one or more of the following methods:
- Icing to decrease swelling and inflammation.
- Stretching your calf muscles will help reduce the peak pressure at the ball of the foot, thereby lessening the pressure on the nerve.
- Wearing shoes with a broader toe box and avoiding tapered shoes or shoes with high heels.
- Padding such as removable metatarsal pads or metatarsal pads placed on an insert can help alleviate some of the pressure on the nerve and decrease the compression when walking.
- Custom orthotics are a great way to support the foot and reduce compression and pressure on the affected nerve. Custom orthotics can also help treat other conditions that may cause a neuroma to develop.
- Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen are typically recommended to decrease the pain and inflammation from the enlarged nerve.
- Topical CBD also works well to decrease inflammation around the nerve and is available at YF&A.
- Avoiding the activities that cause a neuroma until the condition improves is recommended.
- Steroid injections can also help reduce the inflammation and swelling at the site and relieve pain.
Surgery may be considered if a patient hasn’t responded well to nonsurgical modalities. Every patient is unique, and a foot and ankle specialist will determine the best approach to treat your condition. There are now minimally invasive techniques available to address the Neuroma, which lead to a faster recovery and help you return to the activities you love to do.
How We Can Help
Here at Yeargain Foot & Ankle, we are trained in the best techniques to quickly improve your quality of life. We will not only treat your symptoms, but we will always work with you to prevent this condition from returning in the future. We want you back doing the activities you love!
If you are suffering from severe foot pain or wondering, what is Morton Neuroma? Then don’t hesitate to give us a call today. Dr. Yeargain and Dr. Agyen will put you on the path to recovery as soon as possible. To book an appointment, call (214) 824-3851 or book an appointment via our contact page.
We look forward to treating you. You’ll find Yeargain Foot & Ankle at 3801 Gaston Ave. Suite 330 across the street from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.