03 Oct I Have a Morton’s Neuroma – What are my Options?
If you have painful feet – you might be suffering from Morton’s neuroma. A neuroma is a growth of a nerve – which becomes thickened large and irritated. The nerve is usually involved in sending pain signals up the brain and when it becomes irritated it sends begins to send pain signals even when there is no painful stimulus. This can result in a chronic shooting electric shock-like pain in the foot. The neuroma is known as Morton’s neuroma when it affects the nerves in the feet – typically between the third and fourth toes (however it has been known to occur at other points in the feet).
How do I know if I have Morton’s neuroma?
Usually, there are tell-tale signs that suggest a neuroma. These include:
- A tingling sensation in the toes of either foot. This will usually get worse over time (and is not relieved by anything)
- A shooting electric shock-like pain in the toes between the feet
- Pain is much worse when you are walking or wearing shock.
There are a few things that increased your risk of developing a neuroma. These include:
- Being a middle-aged female
- Wearing tight and pointy shoes (ie high heels)
- Having other issues with your feet (eg flat feet, bunions or hammer toes)
- Having a sporty lifestyle (and taking part in things like running) will also increase the risk.
I’m pretty sure I have Morton’s neuroma. What are my options?
First of all, if you suspect you may have Morton’s neuroma then you will need specialist advice from a foot and ankle clinic. There are a number of such clinics across the United States – they usually have specialist surgeons and doctors who have treated conditions such as neuromas for years – and intimately understand the options available to you (far better than a family practitioner would ever be able to do).
When the diagnosis is confirmed there are a number of options ranging from non-surgical to surgical. Non-surgical treatments include:
- Using over the counter medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Ibuprofen. This can reduce inflammation – therefore reducing the chances of the neuroma sending off pain signals.
- Custom built inserts for your shoes can be a real help – allowing you to be comfortable in any shoes
- Sometimes the tight footwear just has to go! Trying to wear wider shoes (ie not high heels) can often be a significant help
- If you are significantly overweight then it can be good to lose some weight. This should ease the pressure on your feet.
- Injections in the foot of steroids can also help with the pain.
If these have not worked then surgery might be an option you want to consider. Again, there are specialist clinics available across the states that can help. In the operation, an orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision at the top of the foot and remove some of the surrounding tissue – meaning the nerve has more space to sit in. They can also remove some of the nerves.
If you or somebody you know have Morton’s neuroma then get in contact with a specialist clinic now.