Morton's Neuroma refers to a nerve injury between the toes, usually the third and fourth toes, which causes pain and thickening of the nerve tissue. Compression or chronic irritation of this interdigital nerve is the main cause of Morton's Neuroma. Excess pressure is exerted on the nerves due to narrowing of the gap between the toe bones causing thickening of the nerve tissue from scar tissue formation. This causes swelling of the nerve and the surrounding tissue.
Morton's neuroma is more common in women than in men. The associated symptoms include:
- Burning pain in the ball of the foot (may also radiate to the toes)
- Numbness in the affected toes
- Inability to walk
Early treatment is critical to relieve pain. Mild to moderate cases of Morton's Neuroma can be managed by conservative treatment. Severe cases of neuroma may require surgery.
The conservative treatment measures include:
- Resting your foot and application of ice packs over the inflamed area to reduce swelling.
- Anti-inflammatory medications to help alleviate pain and inflammation
- Simple footwear modifications include using low-heeled shoes and broad toe box shoes with special pads to minimize discomfort between the toes.
- Steroid injections into the nerve to decrease inflammation
Surgical treatment involves rresection of the involved nerve (neurectomy) or the surrounding tissue.