Morton's neuroma is a foot condition that many people know very little about. They may even be suffering from the condition with no idea that they should go see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment of the condition. By taking the time to learn some of the facts about Morton's neuroma, you will be able to better determine if your foot pain or issues fit the bill of this condition. Then, you can be prepared for your appointment with your podiatrist for your foot pain.
What Is Morton's Neuroma?
Morton's neuroma is a painful condition of the foot, specifically the ball of the foot. It occurs when the tissue around one of the nerves running through the ball of the foot to the toes thicken. A neuroma is technically a benign tumor which is what that thickening of the tissue around the nerve equates to (though it is not actually defined as a tumor).
Essentially, Morton's neuroma presents like an extra ball of tissue in the ball of the foot. It occurs in the place where the nerve extends beneath the ligament of the toe bones. Morton's neuroma most often occurs in the middle of the foot (between the middle toe and the fourth toe), but can occur elsewhere as well.
What Are the Signs of Morton's Neuroma?
Most people with Morton's neuroma essentially feel as if they have a pebble or a marble stuck in their shoe. However, that marble or pebble is actually the thickened tissue of surrounding the nerve rather than an actual object in their shoe.
Some people only feel mild discomfort with Morton's neuroma but most experience some level of significant pain. This pain is often a burning sensation. It may extend outside of the ball of the foot and affect the toes as well, because the nerve extends into the toes. Some patients also report numbness in their toes or an overall strange feeling in the toes, also associated with the nerve being affected by the thickened tissue.
What Causes Morton's Neuroma?
Most often Morton's neuroma is caused by some kind of trauma to the foot such as those that can occur with participating in sports. However, wearing high heels also seems to be a common issue causing this condition because of the extra pressure put on the ball of the foot.
How Is Morton's Neuroma Treated?
Once you go to the podiatrist and get diagnosed with Morton's neuroma, you can start taking steps to improve the condition. One recommendation that your podiatrist will likely make is to change your footwear, especially if you wear high heels. Flats are much easier on your feet and can help to reduce pain and discomfort.
Custom orthotics are also another option for people with Morton's neuroma. These are specially made shoe inserts and other devices that will help to support the ball of your foot and take pressure off of the affected area. Corticosteroid injections can also help to reduce pain and inflammation in the area.
Surgery is often reserved as a last resort treatment for Morton's neuroma but is a possibility if other options do not provide you with the relief you need.
If you believe you have Morton's Neuroma, reach out to podiatrists in your area for more information and advice.