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Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma: Understanding the Pain and Finding Relief

As a podiatrist, I see many patients struggling with Morton's neuroma. This common condition can cause a burning, prickly sensation in the ball of your foot, often between the third and fourth toes. Let's break down what Morton's neuroma is and how we can get you back on your feet comfortably.

What is it?

Morton's neuroma is essentially irritated nerves in your foot. These nerves run between your toes, and when the surrounding tissue thickens, they get pinched. This thickening can be caused by various factors, like wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box, having certain foot structures, or even medical conditions like diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, typically between toes three and four
  • Tingling, numbness, or a pins and needles feeling in the toes
  • Pain worsens with tight shoes, high heels, or prolonged standing/walking

Finding Relief: Conservative Measures First

The good news is that most Morton's neuroma cases respond well to conservative treatments. Here's what we can try:

  • Shoe therapy: Switching to wider shoes with good arch support can take pressure off the irritated nerve.
  • Orthotics: Custom shoe inserts can further improve support and distribute pressure more evenly.
  • Rest and Ice: Reducing activity and applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Medications like ibuprofen can help manage pain.

Additional Options:

  • Physical therapy: Strengthening exercises can improve foot stability and function.
  • Injections: Cortisone injections can provide targeted pain relief and reduce inflammation around the nerve.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: In some cases, ultrasound-guided injections or nerve blocks might be recommended.

Surgery: A Last Resort

If conservative measures don't provide relief, surgery might be considered. This is typically an outpatient procedure with minimal downtime. There are two main surgical options:

  • Nerve decompression: Here, the surgeon removes the thickened tissue compressing the nerve.
  • Nerve excision: In severe cases, the affected nerve might be removed entirely.

Remember, early intervention is key!

The sooner you address Morton's neuroma, the easier it is to manage. If you're experiencing persistent pain or discomfort in your forefoot, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. We can work together to develop a treatment plan that gets you back to enjoying your daily activities pain-free.

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