A neuroma is an enlarged, benign growth of nerves, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are caused by tissue rubbing against and subsequently irritating the nerves in the area. Pressure from poorly fitting shoes, as with many other foot-related conditions, can also lead to this condition. Another possible cause is an abnormal bone structure.
The underlying cause of this problem is normally related to instability at the front of the foot, resulting in painful nerve compression. The nerve experiences repetitive micro trauma that causes it to become initially inflamed and over time can lead to the chronic trapping of scar tissue within the nerve as the body works feverishly to heal the area. The pain starts gradually and can become debilitating especially in those patients who have to lift and squat.
Symptoms may include sensations of thickness, burning, numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the ball of the foot. Treatments typically involve wearing corrective shoes or orthotics and/or cortisone injections. In severe cases, surgical removal of the growth may be necessary. In cases where surgery is indicated, recovery time is based on a host of factors. Most significant is the severity of the neuroma.
Morton's neuroma is a thickening of tissues around the nerve that leads to the toes. The condition usually develops between the third and fourth toes in response to irritation, such as that caused by wearing high-heeled or narrow shoes, or from various sorts of trauma. Symptoms may include a burning pain that radiates from the ball of the foot to the toes or numbness in the toes. Conservative treatments usually resolve the pain or progressions of the condition, and range from wearing roomier, lower-heeled footwear or using orthotics to reduce the pressure on the nerve, to injections of cortosteroid medication to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Early diagnosis of neuroma tends to lead to better cure rates using conservative methods. However, when initial methods are ineffective, other procedures must be considered. Surgery is a last resort considered when other options have proven fruitless. After surgery, the recovery time is approximately two weeks, but some respond more quickly than others.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a neuroma or conditions that mimic it, you should call East Ocean Podiatry and schedule an appointment today. We will evaluate your condition and select the course of treatment that best fits. From your first visit to your last, we will guide you every step of the way to ensure a speedy recovery.