Are you experiencing stabbing, sharp foot pain that feels better when you stop walking and rub your foot? If so, you may have a benign foot condition called Morton’s Neuroma. This condition, which is a nerve thickening or enlargement between the toes, is most common in women aged 30 to 50 and is typically caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes.
Along with stabbing, sharp foot pain, a person suffering from Morton’s Neuroma may experience foot numbness, tingling, burning, and cramping. Sometimes the condition feels like you are stepping on something — as if a small pebble is in your shoe. Initially, these symptoms come and go, but as time passes the symptoms may become chronic.
Tests and Diagnosis
In order to diagnose Morton’s Neuroma foot pain, your Palm Beach or Boca Raton podiatrist will conduct a physical exam, which usually includes a webspace compression test. This test is conducted by squeezing the bones below the toes (called metatarsal) together to reproduce the symptoms. Along with the foot pain, a clicking sound is typically present when this is done. The webspace compression test may also cause you to have shooting foot pain between your toes, which is called the Tinel’s sign.
Another test, called the Gauthier’s test, involves squeezing the bones below the toes together and moving them up and down for half of a minute. If your affected toes spread apart when you stand, this is considered a positive Sullivan’s sign. In most cases, positive results from these tests are enough to make a Morton’s Neuroma diagnosis, but sometimes an ultrasound, MRI, or X-ray is also required for a definitive diagnosis.
Morton’s Neuroma is a highly treatable condition. Treatment varies depending on the individual but may include wearing metatarsal pads, restricting activity, taping, icing, taking anti-inflammatory medications, wearing arch supports or orthotics, physical therapy, alcohol injections, or cortisone injections. If these conservative treatments do not eliminate the pain, surgery, which has about an 80 to 85 percent success rate, may be recommended.
Prevention of Morton’s Neuroma involves wearing proper fitting shoes, and avoidance of high-heeled and narrow-pointed shoes.