A neuroma is a thickening or enlargement of a nerve due to repeated compression or irritation of the nerve. While Morton’s Neuroma can be related to wearing high heels that force toes into a tapered toe box or wearing tight shoes, the most common cause of Neuromas is an overall instability in the forefoot that leads to chronic irritation of the nerve. Trauma or injury to the ball of the foot can also cause a neuroma to form. Running sports or court sports such as tennis or basketball can also cause irritation to the nerve due to the repetitive nature of the sport.
Typically patients with a Morton’s Neuroma will complain of pain in the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. Symptoms tend to occur gradually when wearing tight shoes or performing activities that aggravate the nerve such as running. The symptoms may subside when the aggravating factors stop. Overtime the symptoms may be more intense, continue to worsen and will not subside as easily, often lasting days at a time.
Many patients describe their symptoms as a painful tingling or burning sensation at the ball of the foot that may extend into the 3rd and 4th toes. A neuroma can also feel like there is something in their shoe, or there is a rolled up sock beneath the foot.
The time to see your local podiatrist is at the onset of symptoms. Early diagnosis is key to decreasing the necessity for surgery or invasive treatments. The doctors at Kansas City Foot and Ankle will utilize state of the art technology to diagnose your symptoms. Your treatment plan is dictated by the severity of the neuroma. Non-surgical treatment options include custom orthotics to support and reduce pressure on the nerve. Simple shoe modification such as wearing shoes with a wider toe box can help alleviate symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications will help to reduce swelling and pain. Modifying activity to avoid aggravating the nerve may be recommended. A physical therapy modality called Muskuloskeletal Laser may be helpful in reducing inflammation from around the nerve and may help reduce or eliminate pain. Steroid injections can also provide relief to patients suffering from Morton’s Neuroma.
If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to diagnose your symptoms and determine the best treatment options for you. Our doctors will guide you through each step in the treatment process. Call our office at 816-943-1111 to learn more.