Foot neuroma is a disease that affects one of the nerves in the foot. The condition is usually common in athletes who place a lot of stress on their feet repetitively and anyone who wears tight or small shoes.
Although the disease can be treated using some simple options in its early stages, severe cases require surgical intervention.
What Is A Foot Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is the most common type of foot neuroma. This refers to a condition where the nerve running between the third and fourth toes becomes inflamed or enlarged. The neuroma can also occur between the second and fourth toes. It is also worth noting that this condition may affect one or both feet.
A neuroma is described as the thickening of nerve tissue. Morton’s neuroma is also referred to as intermetatarsal neuroma due to the fact that it occurs in the ball of the foot, between the metatarsal bones.
Although people of all ages can develop this type of foot neuroma, it is mostly middle aged women and athletes who are at high risk.
There are different factors said to cause Morton’s neuroma. The first is wearing shoes that are designed to be very tight at the toe box area, including high heels. Engaging in activities that place a lot of stress on the foot, and toes is also stated as one of the main causes of this condition. Racket sports and running present the highest risk of developing this condition.
Additionally, people with other foot conditions including hammer toes, flat feet, bunions and flexible feet are also at risk of developing this type of foot neuroma.
Some of the main signs associated with this form of foot neuroma include pain, tingling, numbness and a burning sensation in the ball of the foot. In the early stages you might feel like there is a small stone under your foot or a balled up sock causing pressure.
The symptoms mentioned above may come and then disappear in the early stages of the condition. Later the symptoms may return, and become more pronounced; however, removing shoes and massaging the affected area may result in short-lived relief. As the thickening progresses and the nerve damage becomes permanent, the symptoms become more severe.
The treatment adopted to cure this form of foot neuroma depends on the severity of the nerve damage and symptoms. In the early stages, treatment options include icing to bring down the swelling, medications to reduce pain and inflammation and padding. Your doctor may also prescribe activity changes, orthotic devices and shoe modifications as well.
Surgery might be needed to treat severe cases of Morton’s neuroma. The surgery might be aimed at removing surrounding tissue to eliminate the pressure on the affected nerve, or removal of the affected nerve. Removing the nerve leaves this part of the foot numb. The website pacck.org talks about other treatment options.
It is worth noting that your treatment specialist will probably prescribe long term solutions to ensure that the condition does not recur regardless of whether you go in for surgery or not.