Morton's Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma and foot pain

Morton's neuroma is a benign tumor in which presents as an inflammation in the tissue that surrounds the nerve that passes through your toes. It is mostly seen in the space between the third and fourth toe or metatarsal, but can occur between any toe. Patients can have tingling, numbing, burning pain, and the sensation as if there is a rock under the ball of the foot. The pain can radiate to the toes which might feel uncomfortable to the patient. The most common causes for this condition are excessive use of high-heels or tight shoes, participating in high-impact sports, and food deformities (ex. bunions or flat feet).

To diagnose this condition, the physician, with the history given by the patient, will feel or push together the spaces between the toes under the foot to see if there is any click or tenderness that replicates the pain or any other symptom. It is important to rule out any stress fractures or arthritis that may be present with these symptoms with an X-ray.

There are several treatments for Morton's neuroma which depend on the severity of the symptoms. It can be treated by changing to shoes that avoid tightness or high elevation which can alleviate the pressure on the nerve, shoe inserts or pads, massages, taking NSAID or Non-Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs (ex. Naproxen) or even taking a break from strenous activity. If these do not work for the patient, a corticosteroid injection where the neuroma is might do. These changes or therapies have shown great relief to many patients with this condition. However, if the symptoms persist, the nerve could be resected or a release of the tissue surrounding the nerve can be done with surgery.

Author
Danielle N. Perez Zamora MS3 Third year medical student at University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS)

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