Morton's Neuroma

A common cause of foot pain is Morton’s neuroma, a condition that affects the nerves in the ball of the foot. This condition can cause sharp, burning pain, tingling, and numbness in the affected area and can be especially uncomfortable when walking or standing for long periods of time.

At Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center, located in the Greater Columbus area, our team of experienced foot and ankle surgeons understand the impact that foot pain can have on daily activities. That’s why we specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of foot and ankle conditions, including Morton’s neuroma. 

We’ll work with you to find the best treatment option for your needs and to help get you back on your feet quickly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced foot and ankle surgeons.

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

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What Is Morton's Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the nerve tissue in the foot, specifically between either the second and third toes or the third and fourth toes. It’s a type of nerve entrapment that causes burning pain in the ball of the foot, which is the area where the metatarsal bones connect to the toes.

What Causes Morton's Neuroma?

The main cause of Morton’s neuroma is the compression or irritation of the nerve in the foot. This can be due to various factors, such as wearing tight or narrow shoes, high heels, or shoes with a pointed toe box. Foot deformities, such as hammertoes or flat feet, can also increase the risk of developing Morton’s neuroma.

One of the primary causes of Morton’s neuroma is wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with a narrow, tapered toe box. High heels force the foot into an unnatural position, with the toes being pushed forward and the weight of the body being shifted onto the ball of the foot. This can cause excessive pressure on the nerves in the foot, leading to inflammation and the development of Morton’s neuroma.

A woman with ball of foot pain in Columbus, Ohio.

Wearing shoes with a wide toe box can help prevent the development of Morton’s neuroma by providing more space for the toes to spread out and reducing pressure on the nerves. Metatarsal pads can also be used to relieve pressure on the ball of the foot and reduce the risk of developing Morton’s neuroma.

What Are the Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma?

A doctor examining Morton’s Neuroma.

Some of the most common symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include: 

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, it is important to seek advice from a podiatrist. They can provide a thorough examination of the foot and determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Early intervention is key to managing the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma and preventing further damage to the foot.

How Is Morton's Neuroma Diagnosed?

To diagnose Morton’s neuroma, a healthcare provider will typically begin with a thorough physical examination, followed by imaging studies and nerve conduction tests if necessary.

During the physical examination, the healthcare provider will assess your foot and ask about your symptoms, such as pain, tingling, or numbness in the affected area. They may also perform a Mulder’s sign test, in which the healthcare provider squeezes the metatarsal heads together while simultaneously applying pressure to the affected area. If this test elicits pain, it may indicate Morton’s neuroma.

Imaging studies, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs, can also be helpful in diagnosing Morton’s neuroma. These tests can help to rule out other possible causes of foot pain and swelling, such as stress fractures or arthritis. They can also reveal the size and location of the neuroma.

How Is Morton's Neuroma Treated?

The treatment of Morton’s neuroma is usually managed by a foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle conditions. The main goal of treating Morton’s neuroma is to reduce pain and improve foot function. Foot and ankle surgeons use surgical and non-surgical methods to treat Morton’s neuroma. 

Non-Surgical Treatment Methods for Morton's Neuroma

In the early stages of the condition, conservative treatments may be recommended, such as wearing wider shoes, using arch supports or padding, and taking pain medications.

A local anesthetic injection may be administered directly into the affected area if these measures do not provide adequate relief. This injection can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Surgical Treatment Methods for Morton's Neuroma

In some cases, foot surgery may be necessary to treat Morton’s neuroma. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual patient’s needs. The most common surgical procedure is called neurectomy, which involves removing the affected nerve.

Seek Help for Your Foot Pain

If you are experiencing foot pain and suspect you may have Morton’s neuroma or some other foot condition, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled foot and ankle surgeons at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center located in Columbus, OH.

Our experts in podiatry care are committed to helping you achieve optimal foot health and mobility. Contact us today!

Medically Reviewed by: Roberto A. Brandão, DPM, FACFAS

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