Morton's Neuroma Treatment Bellevue, NE
What is Morton's Neuroma?
Morton's neuroma is a common foot problem that occurs when the nerve located on the ball of the foot becomes swollen and inflamed. Symptoms of this condition include sharp pain, burning, and even numbness between the second and third or the third and fourth toes. The pain this condition causes is often compared to the feeling of walking on a pebble that's stuck in your shoe.
The exact cause of Morton's neuroma is not known, but it is thought to develop as a result of long-standing stress and irritation of the nerves in the ball of the foot. This condition is most often found in patients who wear tight or narrow shoes - such as high heels - that squeeze toes together for long periods of time. Morton's neuroma is also found in those who have biomechanical foot deformities such as flat feet, high arches or abnormal toe positioning. Certain conditions that develop over time, like bunions or hammertoe, are also thought to contribute to neuroma problems.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Patients with Morton's neuroma typically suffer from pain that starts in the ball of the foot and shoots toward the affected toes. Foot pain is usually increased by walking or any activity that puts pressure on the ball of the foot. Patients can temporarily relieve foot pain by taking their shoes off, resting their feet and massaging the affected area. However, these pain-relieving methods are not a substitute for professional podiatric care.
Symptoms of this painful foot condition can vary and may come and go over a number of years. Common symptoms of Morton's neuroma include:
- Pain in the forefoot and between the toes
- Swelling and/or numbness between the toes
- The feeling of a bulge or fullness between the toes
- Cramping of the toes or a clicking feeling while walking
In cases where Morton's neuroma is caught early, it can be treated with nonsurgical methods. A podiatrist can usually identify Morton's neuroma during a physical examination of the foot. During this exam, the doctor will feel for a palpable mass or tenderness between the bones, and he or she will put pressure on the spaces between the toe bones to try to replicate the pain. X-ray or an MRI may be taken as well in an effort to rule out any other causes of the pain.
Morton's Neuroma Treatment
There are surgical and non-surgical treatment options available to treat Morton's neuroma, and the treatment method chosen depends on the severity of the condition. The goal of nonsurgical treatment is to reduce forefoot compression and to eliminate the effect of ligament tension. Nonsurgical treatment is designed to decrease the overall pressure on the nerve and allow it to function more normally.
For mild to moderate Morton's neuroma, treatment methods typically include:
- Padding: By supporting the metatarsal arch, padding works to lessen the pressure on the nerve and decrease compression while walking.
- Icing: Using ice after rigorous activity often helps reduce swelling.
- Custom foot orthotics: These supportive shoe inserts help reduce swelling and compression on the nerve.
- Shoe modifications: Switching to wide-toe shoes and avoiding high heels helps reduce pain and swelling.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or cortisone injections may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Symptoms of Morton's neuroma progressively worsen with time, so treatment should be started at its earliest stages. Surgery is only considered for patients who have not responded to nonsurgical treatments. Current surgical care for Morton's neuroma involves either decompressing or removing the nerve. The most common surgery for Morton's neuroma is called a neurectomy. This procedure typically involves removing the affected nerve in the ball of the foot. Another type of surgery for Morton's neuroma involves releasing the ligament that encases the nerve.
Request more information about Morton's neuroma treatment today. Call (402) 289-8839 or contact Dr. Michelle Hinze online.
Foot and Ankle Specialists