A Morton’s neuroma is a common condition that affects the nerves of the ball of the foot. Usually occurring only in one foot, the nerves between the toes become inflamed and painful.
What are the symptoms of a neuroma?
Patients with a neuroma develop forefoot pain that is between the 3rd and 4th toes. The pain is at the bottom of the forefoot, and it can be mild or severe, dull or sharp, intermittent or continuous. The patient complains that they feel like they are “walking on a pebble” or “like the sock is rolled up.” Pain also is worse when walking without shoes.
What causes a neuroma?
The common causes of a neuroma include:
- Improper shoe gear (most common)
- Repetitive activity and excessive pressure on the ball of the foot
- Heredity and genetic factors
- Bunion, hammer toes, and ligament laxity
- Thinning fat pad of foot
What non-operative treatments are used for neuroma?
Non-surgical methods of treating neuroma are aimed at eliminating or decreasing symptoms. These include:
- Wearing proper supportive shoes
- Using an arch support
- Having shoes with a wide toe arch
- Losing weight
- Modifying activities
- Oral anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Orthotics and foot pads
- Cortisone injections
How do I prepare for the neuroma surgery?
Before scheduling surgery, the doctor will meet with you and do an evaluation. After x-rays and a physical examination, the doctor schedules your procedure. The doctor discusses the risks and benefits and has you sign a consent form. When you arrive at the surgical center, a nurse will have you change into a gown and place an IV catheter in your arm.
How is Morton’s neuroma surgery performed?
Surgery for a neuroma involves removing affected nerves at the ball of the foot. After cleaning and numbing the skin, the surgeon makes a small incision at the top of the foot. Using special instruments, the nerve is carefully removed. After the surgeon makes repairs, the foot incision is closed with sutures.
What is recovery like following neuroma removal?
Recovery from Morton’s neuroma (neurectomy) surgery involves wearing a special shoe for 2-4 weeks while the operative foot heals. After you awake from sedation, expect the foot to be heavily bandaged. The doctor will give you some pain medication and antibiotics to take while you rest. Elevate the foot and use ice packs for pain. Return to the medical facility in a week for suture removal.
What is the expected outcome following neuroma surgery?
After surgery, researchers of a clinical study found that good or excellent results were reported 77% of the time. Most patients reported some numbness and tenderness following the procedure.