If you’ve ever felt like you were walking around with a rock in your shoe, then you might be familiar with the symptoms of one of the most common types of neuromas—a Morton’s neuroma.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that frequently develops between the metatarsals as a result of compression and irritation of the nerve. Symptoms tend to build up gradually, and may even go away temporarily if certain activities are avoided, but over time, the symptoms are likely to become more intense as the neuroma enlarges and becomes permanent.
While the exact cause of a neuroma’s development is unclear, there are several different factors that can contribute to their formation such as:
- Wearing shoes with a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes
- Certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, high arches or flatfeet
- Activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or sports
- An injury or other type of trauma to the foot
Common symptoms of neuromas include pain in the forefoot and between the toes, tingling/numbness, and swelling. “If you start to notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible,” Dr. Marc Borovoy says. “If you’re able to catch it early in its development, you’re more likely to treat it with conservative treatments and avoid surgical intervention.”
Treatment options will vary based on the severity of each neuroma, but the primary goal is to relieve the pressure on the areas where the neuroma has developed. The most common types of treatments include:
- Laser – A non-operative technique
- Padding and Taping – Provides support to help lessen the pressure on the nerve and decrease compression
- Medications/Injections – Used to reduce pain and inflammation
- Orthotics – Custom inserts to help reduce pressure
- Surgery – An option for patients who have not responded to nonsurgical treatments
If you or someone you know believes they may have a neuroma, feel free to contact our office at (248)348-5300 or request an appointment on our website. Our podiatrists, Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.