What is a Morton's neuroma?
A neuroma is a benign (not cancerous) tumor of nerve tissue. A Morton's neuroma occurs in the ball of your foot between the bones of your toes. It most commonly occurs in the nerves between the bones of the third and fourth toes or the second and third toes.
What is the cause of Morton's neuroma?
A neuroma may be caused by running or walking too much, but often the reason it happens is not known. The pain is made worse by running on hard surfaces or by wearing shoes that are too tight.
How is Morton's neuroma diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine your foot and review your symptoms.
How long will the effects of Morton's neuroma last?
The overall effects of a Morton’s neuroma can be temporary or long-lasting. Some people can feel better simply by wearing more comfortable shoes. Others are in need of steroid shots or surgery. A steroid shot may give you relief in a few days to a few weeks. Recovery after surgery takes several weeks or longer.
What are the symptoms of Morton's neuroma?
Your foot is painful. The pain is usually worse when your toes are pointed up. You may also suffer from numbness or tingling in the foot or toes. You have tenderness between the bones that are on each side of the neuroma.
How is Morton's neuroma treated?
To treat this condition:
- Wear properly fitting shoes
- Take an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, as directed by your healthcare provider. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days
- Keep your foot up on a pillow when you sit or lie down
- Place an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth on the affected area every 3 to 4 hours for up to 20 minutes at a time
- Wear a pad below one of the bones in your foot. Your doctor may suggest shoe inserts, called orthotics. You can also buy orthotics at a pharmacy or athletic shoe store or they can be custom-made.
- Your doctor may give you a shot of a steroid medicine
- Surgery may be needed to remove the neuroma.
Follow your doctor’s instructions. Ask your doctor:
- How long it will take to recover
- What activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
- How to take care of yourself at home
- What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them
Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.