A neuroma is a somewhat common, usually painful nerve condition that can develop in various parts of the body. In the foot, they most often occur between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are enlarged, benign growths caused by tissue rubbing against the nerves and causing irritation.

Neuromas can be caused by pressure from poorly fitting shoes. They occur frequently in women who wear high heels or shoes that are too tight. An abnormal bone structure in the foot can also lead to a neuroma.

Symptoms and treatments of neuroma

Neuromas are not usually visible growths. The symptoms of a neuroma can include sensations of tingling, numbness, thickness, burning, or pain in the ball of the foot.

Conservative treatments for neuroma are typically wearing orthotics or corrective shoes. Cortisone injections may also be used. For severe cases of neuroma, surgery may be required to remove the growth.

Morton’s neuroma

In Morton’s neuroma, the tissues surrounding the nerve that leads to the toes is thickened. This condition usually develops in response to irritation from high-heeled or narrow shoes, or from trauma.

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include:

  • Toes that splay (form a V), usually the third and fourth toes
  • The sensation of walking on a pebble or bunched-up sock
  • Numbness in the toes
  • Burning pain that radiates from the ball of the foot to the toes

To treat Morton’s neuroma, your doctor will usually focus on relieving the pain and stopping the condition’s progression. Treatments may include wearing orthotics or roomy, low-heeled footwear to reduce pressure on the nerve, and/or injected corticosteriods, which help reduce inflammation (swelling).

If you have symptoms that indicate a neuroma or Morton’s neuroma, contact us to make an appointment and discuss treatment options for relieving your pain.