Morton’s Neuroma and Ball of Foot Pain

Sometimes nerve damage in the feet can cause numbness and pain. If you feel that you are walking with a marble in your shoe, and the pain is located in the ball of the foot, you may have Morton’s neuroma.

What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

A neuroma is a benign tumor made of nerve fibers that grows on a nerve. However, Morton’s neuroma isn’t a tumor – it’s thickening tissue that surrounds the nerve that leads to the toes.

This neuroma often forms between the third and fourth toes when the nerve is injured or compressed. Usually there won’t be any signs like a lump on the outside of the foot. In addition to pain, you may feel a burning sensation in the toe area, numbness or a general feeling of discomfort.

Women suffer from Morton’s neuroma much more frequently than men. Tight shoes that squeeze the toes cause this nerve damage and wearing high heels makes the problem worse by shifting more weight onto the toes. Sports that cause repeated trauma to the feet like running may cause Morton’s neuroma, as can activities like skiing and rock climbing that require tight shoes. Patients with certain foot deformities like hammertoes, flatfeet or high arches are at a higher risk.

Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma

If you have toe symptoms of pain or numbness, contact Your Next Step for an evaluation. Left untreated, this condition can worsen and cause permanent damage. After we examine your foot we will take x-rays right in our office to see if a stress fracture or arthritis is the cause.

If we diagnose the problem as Morton’s neuroma we will first recommend non-invasive treatments. Studies have shown that these types of treatments work in 80% of patients with this nerve condition:

  • Wear shoes with low heels and roomy toe areas. When toes have more room, the nerve may heal itself.
  • Custom-fitted orthotics can lift and separate the bones to reduce nerve pressure.
  • Corticosteroid injections will reduce swelling and inflammation.

If pain persists, we will discuss nerve removal surgery with you.

Prevent Morton’s neuroma by limiting the wearing of high heels. Instead choose shoes with a roomy toe box. We would be happy to evaluate your gait and how your shoes are wearing to recommend the best style of shoes for your condition.

Morton’s Neuroma Won’t Heal By Itself

Get relief from the pain or numbness of Morton’s neuroma by calling Your Next Step today. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified and qualified podiatrists, have extensive experience with nerve-related foot issues. Contact us at the website to schedule an appointment at our Ardmore, Paoli or Downingtown office.

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