A neuroma refers to a benign growth of nerve tissue and is most commonly found on the foot between the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes referred to as Morton’s neuroma or an intermetatarsal neuroma. Although the most common location for neuromas to occur is between the third and fourth toes, they can still be found elsewhere on the foot. Neuromas often compress or irritate the nerve and can be caused by wearing tight, tapered shoes, or high heels. Additionally, neuromas can be caused by sports that cause repetitive impact to the feet.
Did You Know?
Individuals with bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet, or highly flexible feet are at a higher risk for neuromas.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have a neuroma?
You may have a neuroma if you are experiencing pain, tingling, burning, or numbness in the ball of your foot. Additionally, you may also feel that something is in the ball of your foot or have the sensation that you have something in your shoe.
Neuroma symptoms generally begin as occasional incidents and usually decrease with rest, removing the shoe, or massage. Eventually, however, the symptoms will progress in strength and duration, and can last for several days or even weeks.
How will my neuroma be diagnosed?
Prior to making a diagnosis, Dr. Alan Robbins will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Next, he will perform a physical exam of your foot by gently manipulating it into different positions. In some cases, additional testing or diagnostic imaging, such as a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray, may be required.
How will my neuroma be treated?
Your individual treatment plan will depend upon the extent of your neuroma and can vary. Mild to moderate cases of neuroma can usually be treated with non-surgical treatments, while more severe cases may require surgical intervention.
Non-Surgical neuroma treatments include:
• Padding: to provide support and decrease the pressure and nerve compression
• Ice: to reduce swelling and discomfort
• Orthotics: custom-made to provide support and decrease pressure and nerve compression
• Modified Activity: reduce activities that can further irritate the neuroma
• Modified Footwear: selecting shoes with a wider toe-box and avoiding high heels
• Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation
• Injection Therapy: cortisone or other anesthetics can be injected to reduce pain and inflammation
• Alcohol Sclerosing Injections: if other injection therapies fail, alcohol sclerosing injections can be used. Also called chemical neurolysis, they contain a dilute ethyl alcohol solution (4%) and are given every 10-14 days until symptoms subside. Most cases require about 3-7 injections and there is an 89% success rate.