Morton’s Neuroma

November 12, 2012

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a common and often painful condition that involved the development of a growth on the foot. This growth is benign and usually located between the third and fourth toes.

Symptoms

Morton’s neuroma is basically an inflamed nerve on the ball of the foot. It doesn’t have to be but is most commonly located between the either the second and third or third and fourth toes. It can be extremely painful, particularly to walk on and removing shoes and massage often help to relieve the pain. The pain has been described as a sudden and sharp intense pain and other symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning and stinging in and around the area of the growth. Whilst in some people the symptoms can be fairly severe, others can suffer from Morton’s neuroma without even being aware of it.

Causes

It is generally believed that Morton’s neuroma develops as result of some kind of pressure or irritation to one of the nerves leading to the toes. Inflammation of the nerve therefore occurs, followed by the appearance of a growth. Some potential causes of Morton’s neuroma include the following:

  • High-heeled shoes (especially those that are pointed at the toes, which may be one of the reasons that the condition is far more common in women than in men).
  • Individuals who have highly arched feet.
  • Individuals who suffer from flat feet
  • Individuals with a bunion
  • Individuals with a hammer toe
  • Other injuries to the area
  • Participation in high impact sports

Diagnosis and treatment

A number of tests can be performed in order to diagnose Morton’s Neuroma and the doctor will also ask the patient to describe the kind of pain they are experiencing. Further questions may be related to lifestyle and the kinds of shoes the patient tends to wear. If the doctor suspects an inflamed nerve they may decide to order an x-ray, ultrasound scan or an MRI. Once a diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma has been made, treatment can be started. Treatment will be decided depending on the severity of the symptoms and in extreme cases, surgery may be required. Before this action is taken, some things that can be done from home should be tried first to see of there is any improvement. Such things include resting the foot, massaging the affected area, avoiding high impact activities, changing footwear and using an ice pack on the affected area.

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