If you have pain in the ball of your foot, between your third and fourth toe, it could be a Morton’s neuroma. The podiatrists at Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers with locations in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, evaluate your foot to determine if you have this thickening of nerve tissue that causes dysfunction and discomfort. Call one of the offices or schedule online to learn more about Morton’s neuromas and treatment options.
A Morton’s neuroma, sometimes called an intermetatarsal neuroma, occurs between the third and fourth toes. A neuroma refers to thickening of nerve tissue and can occur in other locations of the foot, too.
Thickening and enlargement of the nerves occurs due to compression and irritation.
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. One of the most common reasons a neuroma develops is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. People with certain foot deformities, such as bunions, hammertoes, or flatfoot and those with more flexible feet, are at higher risk for developing a neuroma.
Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or court sports. An injury or other type of trauma to the area may also lead to a neuroma.
The nerve damage of a Morton’s neuroma may cause:
You may feel the sensation as if something is stuck inside the ball of your foot or as if a sock is bunched up. The symptoms are gradual at first, but gradually worsen and persist for several days or weeks. Without treatment, a neuroma can cause permanent nerve damage.
The treatment pursued for your neuroma depends on its severity. Mild to moderate neuromas may be treated with padding, icing, or orthotic devices. Avoid activity that puts repetitive pressure on the neuroma until the condition improves. The doctors will also recommend you wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid narrow-toed shoes or high heels.
In some cases, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or injection therapy using cortisone or local anesthetics may be helpful.
In neuromas that cause persistent pain and that aren’t responsive to conservative treatments, surgery may be necessary.
If you have symptoms that suggest a Morton’s neuroma or other nerve problem, call one of the offices of Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or book online to learn about your options for treatment.