Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot issue that usually affects the ball of the foot. It mostly affects the area between the fourth and the third toe. It may feel as if you are standing on a fold in your socks or on a pebble in your shoes. This problem usually develops when there is abnormal thickening of tissues around one of the nerves going to the toes. It causes a burning, sharp pain in the ball of the foot. The toes may also burn, sting, or even feel numb. Morton’s neuroma has closely been linked with high-heeled shoes, but it can also be influenced by other factors. In some cases, it can be relieved by simply switching to flat shoes, while in others, you may need an experienced podiatrist such as Dr. Richard Goldstein for further treatment. Below are some important things you should know about Morton’s neuroma.
Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma
Usually, there are no outward signs to show that a patient has this condition. The symptoms that a patient may experience include:
- Feeling as if they are standing on a pebble in their shoes
- A sharp, burning pain that may radiate from the ball of the foot to the toes
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
If you suspect that this issue has been caused by wearing high-heeled shoes, then you can try switching to flat shoes. However, it is wise not to ignore any foot pain that does not seem to go away after a few days. Therefore, if the pain has lasted for more than a couple of days, it is wise for you to see a podiatrist.
Causes of Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma usually occurs in response to injury, pressure, or irritation on one of the nerves going to the toes. Some risk factors associated with this problem include:
- Wearing ill-fitting or tight high-heeled shoes
- Participating in high impact physical activities such as running
- Having foot deformities such as flat feet, hammertoes, or bunions
Diagnosis and Treatment
When you visit a podiatrist with the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, your doctor will need to send you for some imaging tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. For instance, you may have to go for X-rays to rule out other causes of foot pain. If X-rays do not show any problems, you may have to go for an MRI or even ultrasound imaging tests, which are better when it comes to visualizing problems with soft tissues.
Once you have been diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, there are several treatments that your doctor can suggest. For instance, you can be advised to try footpads and arch support to minimize pressure on the nerve. Other treatments that can be tried include steroid injection and decompression surgery.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that Morton’s neuroma is a nerve problem that occurs when there is pressure on one of the nerves that go to the toes. It can cause pain in the foot and the toes. Luckily, this issue is treatable.