Foot Care Treatments for Neuromas

Neuroma (Morton’s neuroma) is a nerve condition that causes pain and numbness in the feet and toes. Dr. Schoenhaus can help you find relief from neuroma using the newest and most effective treatment techniques available.

What is Neuroma?

Neuroma diagram
Common location of neuroma

Neuroma occurs when a nerve in the bottom of the foot becomes pinched, often between the metatarsal or toe bones. This causes the nerve to swell and thicken as the condition gets worse, creating pain and discomfort. Neuroma is most common in the third and fourth toes.

Neuroma does not typically produce visible signs, but may cause the following symptoms:

  • Tingling or lack of sensation in toes
  • Feeling of standing on a pebble or lump in your shoe
  • Burning pain in the ball of the foot (may also extend to toes)

Diagnosing Neuroma

Though the exact cause of neuroma is unknown, the condition is known to result from excess pressure, irritation or injury to the nerves in the feet and toes.

The following factors may put you at a higher risk of developing neuroma:

  • High-impact activities. Running and other activities that put your feet at a high risk of injury or trauma may increase your risk of neuroma, as will any activity that requires the use of tight-fitting shoes (rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding).
  • Poor-fitting shoes and high heels. Any footwear that fits tightly or puts pressure on your toes may contribute to neuroma.
  • Deformities or pre-existing foot conditions. Hammertoes, flat feet, bunions and other foot conditions will put you at a higher risk of neuroma.

If Dr. Schoenhaus suspects that you may be suffering from neuroma, she will likely use X-rays to ensure that another condition like fracture is not the source of your pain. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to inspect the soft tissues of the foot and determine whether or not neuroma is present.

Treating Neuroma

Treatment for neuroma typically begins with conservative therapies like shoe padding. Dr. Schoenhaus may recommend that you wear arch supports or foot pads to keep excess pressure off the affected nerves. Dr. Schoenhaus may also use sclerosing alcohol injections to provide relief.

If these conservative approaches prove unsuccessful, surgical intervention to remove the swollen sections of the nerve may be necessary. Surgery for neuroma is relatively minor and is typically done under anesthesia in an outpatient setting.