What Caused Your Neuroma?

Any pain in your feet can place limitations on your life, so finding answers is key. If that pain is centered around the balls of your feet and toes, a Morton’s neuroma may be to blame.

At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, our team of podiatric specialists, led by Drs. Matthew Paden, Dustin Kruse, and Brett Sachs, offers a wide range of services that cater to all your foot care needs. As part of our efforts, we believe that education is key, especially when it comes to understanding how foot problems crop up in the first place.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how a Morton’s neuroma develops and what we can do about it.

A pain in the foot

The first signs of most foot problems are pain and discomfort, which is certainly the case with Morton’s neuroma. It’s an issue that typically involves the nerve that runs between your third and fourth toes. 

When the tissue surrounding the nerve thickens, it compresses or pinches the nerve, which can lead to the following symptoms in the balls of your feet and/or your toes:

These symptoms usually develop gradually, coming and going with shoe wear and foot usage. Over time, however, the nerve can become permanently damaged, which is why early intervention is key.

The causes of Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuromas occur more often in women for one simple reason: footwear. High-heeled shoes or shoes with pointy toes are the leading offenders when it comes to this type of nerve irritation because your feet aren’t allowed to spread out in the way that they’re designed. While women’s shoes are primarily to blame, certain athletic shoes, such as ski boots or ballet shoes, can also lead to nerve problems.

In all of these cases, you’re cramping your toes and placing added pressure on your forefoot, which leads to the thickening of the tissue surrounding your nerve.

A Morton’s neuroma often develops alongside structural issues, such as bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet, and high arches.

Outside of footwear, a Morton’s neuroma can also occur because of added stress on your forefoot, such as running or engaging in sports on hard surfaces (think tennis).

Treating a Morton’s neuroma

One of the first things you should do if you suspect you have Morton’s neuroma is to come see us so that we can confirm the problem. This is important because your pain may stem from another issue, such as a stress fracture, which dictates your treatment moving forward.

If we confirm a Morton’s neuroma, our goal is to relieve your pain and discomfort, which we do with one or more of the following:

If your neuroma doesn’t improve with these conservative treatments, we can surgically remove the tissue that’s pressing up against your nerve.

To learn more about Morton’s neuromas, please contact one of our four offices in Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, Arvada, or Granby, Colorado, to set up an appointment.

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