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Morton’s Neuroma

A Morton’s Neuroma is an inflamed and enlarged nerve in the forefoot that runs between the metatarsal bones and provides sensory (touch) feedback to the adjacent sides of the toes that it serves. It is commonly felt at the bottom of the ball of the foot and may present as numbness in the toes, sharp stabbing pain, or burning pain in the ball of the foot. Oftentimes, patients will complain that it feels like a sock is wadded up under the ball of their foot (even if they are not wearing socks!), or like there is a pebble or a mass under the forefoot. Removing shoes and rubbing the foot provides immediate pain relief, but the pain often returns once activity is resumed and/or shoes are put on. High heeled shoes may increase pain by increasing pressures on the forefoot and the neuroma itself. Additionally, tight calf muscles may affect increased pressure on the forefoot and the associated neuroma.

There are ways in which hallux Morton’s Neuromas can be managed and made more comfortable in shoes. These include:

  • Metatarsal pads
  • Rocker bottom shoes
  • Avoid high heeled or narrow shoes
  • Use of oral anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Alcohol sclerosing injections
  • Use of custom orthotics

If conservative care fails to alleviate the pain, then surgery to remove the neuroma may be pursued. This is an outpatient surgical procedure which takes 20-30 minutes to complete. This includes removing the neuroma itself as well as the nerve branches into the adjacent two toes. Ask your podiatrist about your surgical options as well as the necessary recovery.

If you would like to watch a video on removal of Morton’s Neuroma, please follow this link:

“Surgery Morton’s neuroma pain in the foot” DrGlass DPM