What is a neuroma in the foot?

A foot neuroma is often referred to as a “pinched nerve.” Neuromas are a disorganized growth of nerve cells, often identified as a benign (harmless) nerve tumor. The tumor is benign and frequently found between the third and fourth toes. Foot neuromas can be painful, causing tingling, numbness or a burning sensation in the ball of the foot and between the toes. Foot neuromas can cause significant loss of function in the toes and can limit the ability of the toes to flex and move properly. The experts at BICMD understand neuromas and can diagnose your foot pain through their state-of-the-art orthopedic telemedicine platform. They have extensive experience in identifying foot conditions and can offer you the best treatment options for your type of foot neuroma.

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

The most common foot neuroma is called Morton’s Neuroma and frequently develops between the third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma is not technically a tumor but involves a thickening of the tissues around one of the nerves leading to the toes. It occurs where the nerve passes under the ligament that connects the metatarsals (toe bones) in the forefoot.

What causes Morton’s neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is caused by a damaged or irritated nerve that sits between the bones of the toe. Morton’s neuroma is more common in women, in fact 8 out of 10 cases of Morton’s neuroma are seen in women. Athletes are also more prone to this foot condition. Other causes linked to foot neuromas are:

  • Pointy or high-heeled shoes
  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Sports that require a lot of pressure on the foot and toes
    • Running
    • Ballet
    • Golf
    • Football
    • Tennis
  • Foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, high arches, or flatfeet

What are the symptoms of a foot neuroma or Morton’s neuroma?

There is not often an outward sign of a foot neuroma, such as a lump or bump. Instead, patients often report the following symptoms:

  • Feeling as if you are standing on a marble or pebble in your shoe
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • Burning sensation in the ball of the foot that may radiate to the toes
  • Pain that intensifies with activity or when wearing shoes

How are foot neuromas or Morton’s neuroma diagnosed?

Our orthopedic experts in foot neuromas can diagnose your foot condition through our telemedicine platform. X-rays are often needed to rule out stress fractures or other bone anomalies. Our “best in class” specialist will obtain your history and will ask you about your symptoms. An MRI may be requested to make the most accurate diagnosis and to help devise a treatment plan.

What is the foot neuroma treatment options?

The treatment for Morton’s neuroma and other foot neuromas can vary, depending on the severity of each neuroma. The goal for non-surgical treatment is to relieve symptoms and allow the condition to diminish.

Non-Surgical treatments include:

  • Changes in footwear that allow the toes more room and have a lower heel
  • Medication – NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Orthotics
  • Padding and taping

Surgical options:

Surgical options may be considered if conservative measures have failed to relieve the painful symptoms of foot neuromas. The goal of orthopedic podiatry surgery is to remove the inflamed or enlarged nerve; this is called excision of neuroma. Our experts at BICMD can discuss this simple surgical procedure and offer expert advice for the best treatment plan that suits your individual foot condition.

For more information on foot neuromas and Morton’s neuroma, or to receive an expert consultation for your foot pain, please contact our experts, by clicking on “Connect With a Doctor.” You will be connected to one of our orthopedic telemedicine experts through our state-of-the-art telemedicine platform.