Your feet are ground zero for your mobility, so when a problem arises, the effects are exponential. A classic example of this is a Morton's neuroma, which can cause considerable pain in the ball of your foot.
To help you better identify this condition so that you can seek treatment, the team of foot health experts here at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle pulled together the following information on Morton’s neuroma.
Key characteristics of a Morton’s neuroma
A neuroma is a broad term that describes thicker-than-normal nerve tissue. Neuromas can develop in different areas in your body, but the ones that occur in the balls of your feet are called intermetatarsal neuromas, or Morton’s neuromas.
A Morton’s neuroma typically develops between your third and fourth toes, though they can crop up between your second and third toes as well.
The classic symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma include:
- Pain, especially when you’re placing pressure on the area
- The feeling that you have a pebble in your shoe
- Numbness, tingling, or burning that may radiate out into your toes
These symptoms usually start out mild, but the longer the condition goes untreated and the nerve tissue continues to thicken, the more severe they become.
Primary causes of Morton’s neuroma
The primary cause of a Morton’s neuroma is pressure on the nerve, which causes the nerve to build tissue to protect itself. While we place pressure on the balls of our feet every time we take a step, a Morton’s neuroma develops when there’s excessive pressure, which can be caused by:
- Footwear, especially high heels and shoes with pointy toes
- Bunions or hammertoes
- Flat feet or overly flexible feet
- Engaging in sports that require jumping or running
Due to the first item on the list above, Morton’s neuromas tend to develop more often in women.
Treating a Morton’s neuroma
Since Morton’s neuromas are progressive, it’s important to come seek our help at the first signs of trouble. When we catch the problem early, we can usually treat it with conservative measures, such as:
- A change in footwear
- Padding and taping
If your Morton’s neuroma is quite painful, we can administer a corticosteroid injection to reduce the inflammation and discomfort.
If these conservative measures don’t remedy your symptoms, we may recommend a surgical solution in which we relieve the pressure on the nerve. We can usually perform this minor surgery in our office on an outpatient basis.
If you suspect you have a Morton’s neuroma, please contact one of our offices in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Thornton, or Evergreen, Colorado, to set up an appointment.