27 Apr Possible FDA-approved Injection for Morton’s Neuroma Available Soon
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently granted a Fast Track designation to a possible new treatment for Morton’s neuroma. The condition is a nerve pathology that involves the foot and can cause serious neuropathic (sharp, burning) pain. It usually involves only one foot and is characterized by inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nerves between the third and fourth toes.
Currently, the injection is referred to as CNTX-4975 and is a non-opioid (non-narcotic) medication that has successfully passed a Phase 2b study and a Phase 3 clinical trial will commence soon. The medication is designed to be the first form of synthetic capsaicin (the active component found in chili plants) that can be injected directly into the foot at the site of the neuroma and reduce inflammation of the affected tissue resulting in pain relief.
Conservative therapies for managing Morton’s neuroma include:
- Prescribing anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen to help reduce the inflammation around the nerve tissue that causes the pain.
- Opioid medications have also been prescribed to help with the pain but these drugs do have a risk of leading to addiction and caution is advised.
Invasive procedures to help manage the condition include:
- Injecting sclerosing agents via ultrasound guidance.
- Radio-frequency ablation.
- Cryoablation therapy.
These invasive therapies appear to have a varied rate of success which makes the possible capsaicin injection a better alternative since the swollen tissue can be managed without inadvertently damaging the nerve it surrounds.
What is Morton’s Neuroma?
As mentioned, Morton’s neuroma is a condition where the tissue around the nerves in the foot becomes swollen and compresses the structure causing symptoms such as:
- Experiencing the feeling that one is standing on a pebble.
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in the toes.
- A burning pain in the ball of the foot that seems to spread to the toes.
The condition seems to be caused by pressure applied to or injury of the nerves that lead to the toes, and the inflammatory process that occurs results in irritation and swelling of the surrounding tissue which leads to the mentioned symptoms.
Risk factors for developing Morton’s neuroma include:
- Taking part in high-impact athletic activities such as running or even jogging and this can subject the feet to repetitive trauma.
- Participating in sports that require wearing tight shoes such as rock climbing or snow skiing can put an increased amount of pressure on the feet.
- Patients having foot deformities such as high foot arches, hammertoes, bunions, or flatfeet are at an increased risk of developing the condition.
Oasis Foot and Ankle Center
Oasis Foot and Ankle Center keeps up to date with advancing therapies relating to the management of foot-related conditions and the capsaicin injection may be considered as part of their treatment protocol once it has received FDA approval.
Currently, the medical center manages Morton’s neuroma conservatively and may recommend surgical treatment of the condition if the conservative measures have been ineffective.