16 Nov How Do You Know If You Have a Morton’s Neuroma?
Foot pain can be a real bugbear. It is often misdiagnosed by family practitioners and poorly managed. For instance pain between the big toe and second toe could be Morton’s neuroma, but is often misdiagnosed as something else. Getting a quick and correct diagnosis is essential to getting back on your feet fast.
What is a Morton’s neuroma?
Neuromas are benign growths of the nerve. A Morton’s neuroma is one that occurs in between the digits of your feet (ie the toes). The nerve in the foot becomes thickened and irritated. These nerves usually transmit pain signals to the brain when there is a painful stimulus, but the overgrowth means they start firing randomly even if there isn’t a painful stimulus there at all. This can leave you with a painful shooting sensation in the foot.
What symptoms may I experience?
As mentioned before one can have pain between the big toe and second toe or pain between the third and fourth digits. You may also notice a tingling sensation in the toes between your feet. Over time this will get worse and worse. You will notice that the pain is exacerbated (made worse) by walking. Its thought this is due to the increased pressure caused by walking.
What treatments are available?
Getting back to a pain-free easy life is essential for any individual with Morton’s neuroma. Getting in contact with a foot specialist is the first step to a pain-free existence as they will have the expertise to tailor your care to your individual situation. Treatments that might be offered include:
- Painkillers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can relieve the inflammation in the nerve. Reducing the inflammation means the nerve is less likely to fire and therefore you are less likely to feel pain.
- You may also be offered injections where a steroid and a local anesthetic is injected around the neuroma. The local anesthetic blocks the nerve from firing temporarily (thus giving you temporary pain relief) whilst the steroid reduces inflammation over the coming weeks to months.
- Some specialist clinics will offer you orthotic devices tailor-made to your feet that can reduce the pain experienced with a neuroma.
- If all the conservative and pain management treatments have failed you may then be offered. The operation is usually done by a foot specialist who will remove part of the nerve and increased the space around the nerve (less compression of the nerve means less pain). The surgery is often successful but you will need to take some time off your feet, to begin with. It may take weeks to months to get back to normal activities of daily living.
If you or somebody you know is suffering from foot pain, get in contact with a specialist so that it can be properly diagnosed. A proper diagnosis is essential to getting proper individualized treatment that will resolve the issue fast!