What Is Morton Neuroma and Treatment for Morton's Neuroma
Morton neuroma is a painful foot symptom caused by swelling and enlargement of nerve branches on the bottom of the foot leading to the toes. It is more common in women than men. However, it often occurs with wearing uncomfortable shoes or high heels for extended periods. Symptoms of Morton Neuroma include pain, tingling, and numbness in the ball of the foot. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the enlarged nerve. Several treatment options for Morton's Neuroma are available, including shoe inserts, medication, injections therapy and surgery. If you are suffering from the disease, schedule a consultation with the Northern Ankle Foot Associates and enjoy running/walking again.
What Is Morton's Neuroma?
Morton's Neuroma is a foot disease caused by the abnormal thickening of tissue around one of the nerves in the ball of your foot. This condition typically affects women and can cause foot pain, burning sensations, and tingling or permanent numbness in your toes. While there is no definitive cure for Morton's Neuroma other than surgery, various treatment options can help manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Symptoms Of Morton Neuroma
The most common symptoms of Morton Neuroma are
The sensation of a lump: You may feel like you have a stone in your shoe or a knot in your foot. The lump is the swollen nerve.
The burning pain usually occurs when you walk, run, or stand on your toes. You may also feel pain when you wear high heels or tight shoes. The pain may radiate from your foot into your toes. -Numbness: You may feel pins and needles in your foot, or your toe may feel numb.
Difficulty walking: The pain may make it hard for you to walk or put pressure on your foot. -Feeling of pins and needles in toe: You may feel like you have pins and needles in your foot, or your toe may feel numb.
Morton's Neuroma is not life-threatening, but it can be painful.
Causes Of Morton Neuroma
The following are a few common causes of Morton's Neuroma:
Wearing High Heels Or Other Tight Shoes
High heels and other tight shoes can compress the nerve and lead to Morton Neuroma. However, wearing too-tight shoes can also cause bunions, hammertoes, and other problems contributing to Morton's Neuroma.
Playing certain sports such as tennis, soccer, or running can also compress the nerve and lead to Morton Neuroma. Sports that involve repetitive impact on the foot are particularly risky.
Repetitive stress on the foot from activities such as walking or standing for long periods can also lead to Morton's Neuroma. This is especially common in occupations such as teaching or nursing, where you are on your feet all day.
A direct injury to the foot can also cause Morton neuroma. For example, this might happen if you drop something weighty on your foot or stub your toe.
Arthritis in the foot can also contribute to Morton's Neuroma. This is because arthritis can narrow the space around the nerve, causing it to become compressed. Risk factors for Morton's Neuroma also include foot abnormalities such as bunions, flat feet, high arches, and hammertoes which could be the leading cause of this.
Diagnosis Methods For Morton Neuroma
Morton's Neuroma can be painful, but it is not serious and can often be treated with over-the-counter medication or home remedies. However, if these methods do not provide relief, it may be necessary to see a doctor for further treatment. There are a few ways doctors use to diagnose Morton's Neuroma.
The first is by taking a medical history. This will help the doctor to rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.
The second is by doing a physical examination of the foot. This will help the doctor to identify any areas of swelling or tenderness. It is a symptoms-based examination.
Finally, the doctor may order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, MRI, x-ray, or CT scan, to get a better look at the affected nerve. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with Morton Neuroma will experience relief from their symptoms.
Common Treatments For Morton Neuroma
Morton's Neuroma can be painful and frustrating. Still, many effective treatment options can help manage your symptoms of Morton's Neuroma and reduce pain. Let's look at some treatment options for Morton's Neuroma.
Rest And Ice
Rest and ice are the most common treatment options for Morton's Neuroma. Resting can help to relieve the pressure on your foot and affected toes, while applying ice can help to reduce inflammation and pain. You can apply ice directly to the affected area for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times daily. If you have access to an ice pack, place it in a plastic bag or towel and apply it to your foot.
Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are often the best way to reduce inflammation and pain in Morton's Neuroma. These medications can be applied to the affected area. They work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, chemicals that cause inflammation. If you are experiencing pain, your doctor may prescribe a topical cream or an oral medication to help provide relief.
Foot Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a good way to improve blood flow to the area and help reduce discomfort. The therapist will also give you different exercises for the tendons, which can help speed up healing. Some people find that massage therapy is particularly helpful for relaxing their muscles and relieving tension. The following are some directions on how to do it:
Use your hands to massage the area directly around the Neuroma. Gently rub in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
Place a tennis ball on the floor and stand on it. Apply pressure to the ball with your foot for 30 seconds-1 per minute. Repeat this three times.
Place the tennis or golf ball on the floor and rest your foot on top of it. Gently roll the ball under your foot for 1-2 minutes.
Proper New Footwear
Using proper footwear will prevent Morton's Neuroma from happening in the first place. Try to use footpads or prescription orthotics for compressed nerves. Look for wide-toe box shoes and adequate cushioning. Avoid tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes, as these can put added pressure on your foot and toes and contribute to the development of Morton's Neuroma. You can also place metatarsal pads in all shoes for comfort and support.
Cortisone injected directly into the swollen tissue around the enlarged nerve can decrease pain and symptoms associated with Morton’s Neuroma. A series of three injections can be used to alleviate pain and allow for return to activities. This treatment along with shoe inserts/orthotics and proper shoe gear is the most successful means of reducing symptoms for non-surgical treatment, especially when the neuroma is not very large.
Neurectomy is the last option used in severe cases of Morton's Neuroma. Morton's neuroma surgery involves removing the affected nerve to the toes and is a relatively invasive procedure. It usually takes a few weeks of healing time before getting back to activities, however, it is a viable option that should be discussed with your doctor. This surgery can be conducted by foot and ankle surgeons or podiatrists, depending on the severity of the Neuroma.
A neurectomy is typically done as an outpatient procedure. Recovery time from a neurectomy can vary from person to person. However, most people can return to normal activities at around 4 weeks after foot surgery.
Schedule An Appointment At Northern Ankle Foot Associates
Morton's Neuroma can be pretty painful, but several treatments can help. If you are suffering from this condition, please reach out to Northern Ankle Foot Associates, and we would be happy to help. Contact us today and get healed.