Morton's Neuroma Surgery

Our Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center team in Greater Columbus understands how unsettling experiencing the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma (intermetatarsal neuroma) can be. We have provided relief for many by means of Morton’s neuroma conservative care and surgery. Contact us to see if this could be the treatment that alleviates your foot pain!

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.

What Our Patients Say

I’ve had nothing but great experiences with these guys. I had a reconstructive surgery. They have been so helpful every “step” (sorry for the pun!) of my recovery and continuing development. They are really friendly, staff is helpful and the appointment reminders they use are super reliable. I have an 11 month old that often has to come with me, and everyone there is very accommodating.” — Amy H.

While everyone hates the uncomfortable feeling of having a pebble in their shoe, once the pebble is removed, the relief is instant. However, if you are among those who have been enduring the painful symptoms associated with Morton’s neuroma and experiencing this feeling daily, it can sometimes feel unbearable. Patients commonly describe the intermittent or constant feelings of a pebble, balled-up sock, itching, or burning nerve pain on the bottom of their forefoot. 

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a thickening and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nerves between your metatarsal bones (the bones between your toes). You may experience varying levels of pain between your third and fourth toes and sometimes in your second and third toes. It can affect one or both of your feet and make you feel like you’re walking on a pebble, rock, or something in your shoe.

What Is Morton's Neuroma Surgery?

Morton’s neuroma surgery is a surgical procedure used to remove the part of the damaged nerve or relieve pressure off the nerve to alleviate foot pain. There are two different surgical techniques that your surgeon can choose from depending on your specific needs, and they are as follows:

  1. Decompression surgery- During this procedure, pressure on the nerve is relieved by cutting ligaments and other structures around the nerve.
  2. Neurectomy- During this procedure, part of the nerve tissue in the ball of the foot is removed. Your foot and ankle surgeon may recommend this procedure if other treatments do not generate the desired results.

What Is Involved in Morton's Neuroma Surgery?

This procedure is performed under general, local, or twilight anesthesia. Accessing the affected nerve involves your surgeon making an incision on either the top or bottom of your foot. From there, depending on the technique chosen, your trauma care surgeon will either remove the swollen portions of the nerve or release the tissues surrounding the nerve to depress it.

When Is Morton's Neuroma Surgery Necessary?

This surgery becomes necessary when conservative treatments have not been able to ease your discomfort. Your surgeon will review your medical history to see if you would be eligible for this form of treatment. Additionally, if you smoke, you will be advised to stop prior to foot and ankle surgery to minimize your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or complications with incision healing. 

There are many conservative measures that are successful in treating neuromas. For those that conservative care doesn’t help, neuroma surgeries are straightforward with a high success rate and very low risk. 

Forefoot neuromas are commonly overdiagnosed and misdiagnosed. There are several other conditions that can present with similar symptoms as a neuroma. You want to make sure you’re seeing a qualified foot and ankle surgeon to rule out other causes and pick the correct surgical procedure.

A patient with feeling like a pebble is in his shoe is diagnosed with Morton's neuroma.

The Recovery Time Frame After Having Morton's Neuroma Surgery

Your recovery time frame will depend specifically on the severity of your condition and the form of surgery you undergo. Within the first few weeks after your surgery, aim to keep your foot elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling and minimize pain. The recovery time frame for most patients is as follows:

  • Nerve decompression surgery- The recovery is generally quick. You will be able to use a padded stiff shoe and begin weight bearing right after your foot surgery.
  • Neurectomy- For this procedure, the recovery time will be longer, ranging from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on where the incision was made. However, you can typically begin weight bearing the day of surgery as well in a padded, stiff shoe. 

After surgery, it is common to experience some toe stiffness; however, this generally improves with time. Mild swelling may also linger for up to a year after your procedure.
Occasionally,  physical therapy will be needed to increase your mobility. This can include toe mobilization exercises.


After having Morton’s neuroma surgery, most experience excellent pain relief once the incision site has healed. There is a low chance that a recurrence can occur. If this is the case, further treatment, possibly injections, or further surgery may be necessary.

If your foot pain persists despite conservative treatment, schedule a consultation appointment today with our foot specialists at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in the Columbus, OH area. We promise to provide the high-quality treatment you deserve to get you back on your feet and return to living a life you love!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Randall Thomas, DPM, FACFAS

Our Morton's Neuroma Specialist​s​


Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon


Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon


Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon


Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon


Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon and Wound Specialist


Board Certified Podiatric Physician, Clinical Podiatrist


Clinical Podiatrist, Certified Wound Specialist


Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon
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