What Is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is an inflammation and thickening of a nerve. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes. The thickening of the nerve is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve over time, leading to the potential for nerve damage. Tight fitting/tapered/high heeled shoes can be notorious for this. Certain types of foot deformity can also predispose a person to a neuroma, as can certain activities and injuries as well.
Symptoms of a neuroma usually consist of tingling, burning or numbness, pain, or strange feelings in the foot.:
To arrive at a diagnosis, the podiatrist will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical examination, the doctor attempts to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot. Other tests or imaging studies may be performed.
In developing a treatment plan, your foot and ankle surgeon will first determine how long you’ve had the neuroma and evaluate its stage of development. Treatment approaches vary according to the severity of the problem, and conservative treatments include padding, icing, orthotic therapy, activity modification, shoe modification, anti-inflammatory medication and injection therapy.
Surgery may be considered in patients who have not responded adequately to non-surgical treatments. Your podiatrist will determine the approach that is best for your condition. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure performed.