Morton’s neuroma, also known as an intermetatarsal or interdigital neuroma, is a common source of foot pain. It is characterized by a sharp, burning sensation in the web between the toes, typically the third and fourth toes, and is caused by the compression and irritation of the nerves in that area of the foot.
Anything causing compression or irritation to the nerve can lead to Morton’s neuroma, and some of the more likely causes include:
- Wearing shoes with a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that force the toes into the toe box.
- Foot deformities, such as bunions, hammer toes, flat feet or more flexible feet.
- Activities involving repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, including running or court sports.
- Injury or other trauma to that area of the foot.
Morton’s neuroma may be characterized by one or more of these symptoms:
- Tingling, burning or numbness.
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot.
- A feeling that something is inside the shoe or the sock is bunched up.
The initial symptoms begin gradually, and may go away temporarily. But over time symptoms worsen progressively and may last for several days or weeks. In this later stage, the symptoms become more intense as the neuroma enlarges and the temporary change in the nerve becomes permanent.
The best time to see one of the podiatric surgeons at Alpine Foot Specialists for a proper diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma is during the early stages of your symptoms. Early diagnosis may help you avoid the need for surgery.
Non-invasive treatment of Morton’s neuroma include:
- Padding to provide support for the metatarsal arch and reduce pressure on the nerve.
- Placing an ice pack on the affect area.
- Custom orthotic devices to provide support and reduce neve pressure.
- Avoiding activities that place pressure on the neuroma.
- Wearing shoes with a wider toe box.
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
- Injections of cortisone, local anesthetics or other agents.
Surgery may be considered for those who have not responded to the non-invasive treatment.
If you think you are suffering from the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, do not hesitate to call one of our clinics and let one of our physicians determine the treatment options that are best for you. You can reach our Lake Zurich office at (847) 540-9949 or our Oak Brook office at (630) 468-2310.