Feeling like you have a pebble in your shoe is an often-used metaphor for a problem or painful situation you’re aware of, but that’s seemingly so small and insignificant others don’t notice.
Unfortunately, a foot condition called Morton’s neuroma gives you the feeling of walking on a constantly jabbing pebble, and the problem is in no way symbolic of anything — it causes real, persistent discomfort.
From five convenient Texas locations, our caring podiatry team at Premier Foot & Ankle treats a multitude of podiatric conditions, and caring for people living with neuromas is something we have extensive experience with.
Your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and have you on the road to recovery as soon as possible, so you can go back to your regular life and favorite activities again, with no limited mobility.
What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma develops when the tissue that surrounds your interdigital nerve, which runs to your toes, thickens. As the cycle of swelling worsens, the pain can become life-altering and limit your mobility. Sometimes referred to as a benign nerve tumor, this is a misnomer.
Typically these neuromas develop between your third and fourth toes on the ball of your foot, and they frequently affect runners, people who favor sky-high heels, and those who wear ill-fitting shoes. You’re also at higher risk for Morton’s neuroma if you work at a job that requires you to stand on your feet for long periods, like teaching, trades work, nursing, and retail.
Certain foot conditions make it more likely that you'll suffer from a neuroma as well. These include deformities like flat feet, bunions, and hammertoe.
What symptoms will I experience with Morton’s neuroma?
The top five signs that will lead your doctor to suspect a neuroma include:
- A strong sensation of walking on a small stone or marble
- A burning pain that originates in the ball of your foot and may extend to your toes
- Tingling or numbness on the bottom of your foot
- Involuntary toe separation
- Swelling between your two affected toes
If you’re experiencing a combination of these symptoms, contact Premier Foot & Ankle. We examine you, ask about your pain history, take an X-ray of your foot, and consider your specific symptoms. If you’re diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, we create a treatment plan tailored to your symptoms and needs.
How will you treat my neuroma?
Fortunately, we can provide relief for your neuroma discomfort. One or a combination of treatments can provide relief, including:
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
- Avoiding activities that are hard on the balls of your feet, like running and tennis
- Adding padding to the interior of your shoe to protect your pain points
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medications for pain relief
- Alcohol-based or corticosteroid injections
Wearing the right footwear can also greatly relieve your neuroma pain. Shop for shoes that are low-heeled or flat, since they put the least amount of stress on the ball of your foot, and look for shoes with a wide toe box that doesn’t compress your toes.
We also offer innovative, noninvasive Podiatherm treatment, which uses radiofrequency energy to provide neuroma relief. During the procedure, your provider gives you a local anesthetic and delivers the RF energy treatment via a thin needle, usually in several locations.
Your doctor may use an ultrasound image to help ensure that they place the needle precisely, and that your internal treatment area is also numbed. After treatment, you can return to your normal life, but it’s also normal to feel tenderness for several days afterwards. Any residual pain typically resolves within 4-6 weeks.
You may also experience numbness between your toes after treatment. However, you can expect your nerve to regenerate over time. You can get a repeat Podiatherm treatment if your pain returns.
Although 80% of neuroma sufferers get relief from a combination of the treatments listed above, sometimes they don’t provide enough relief. If your symptoms persist, your Premier Foot & Ankle provider may recommend a surgical procedure where they cut your nerve tissue to reduce pressure and inflammation.
Don’t suffer with relentless neuroma discomfort for another day. Call the Premier Foot & Ankle location closest to you and schedule an appointment today, or book one online anytime.