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What is Morton’s Neuroma

Many conditions affect the ball of the foot and one of the most painful conditions that may develop is Morton’s Neuroma. It generally occurs in the middle of the third and fourth toes and is described as feeling as though there is a small rock or pebble in the shoe.

With Morton’s Neuroma the tissue becomes thickened that surrounds one of the nerves that extend to the toes. This can either a burning or sharp pain ball of the foot pain as well as toe pain such as stinging, numbness, or burning. The condition is usually a reaction to pressure, irritation, or injury. In most cases, there are no signs that can be see that accompany Morton’s Neuroma but some symptoms that an individual may have are:

• The sensation of standing upon a stone or pebble in the bottom of the shoe.
• Pain to the ball of the foot that feels as if it is burning and may move into the toes.
• Toes that are numb or may tingle occasionally or constantly.

Medical Attention

After a few days of having pain in the foot, an individual should see a physician or podiatrist especially if they have made changes in their type of footwear and have limited the amount of activity in order to lessen the stress and strain of the foot. The definite cause of Morton’s Neuroma is not known. Physicians only relate the condition to a reaction to irritation, injury, or pressure that involves a nerve leading to a toe. The body responds to injury or irritation by forming the thick nerve tissue. Other contributing factors may include some of the following:

• Footwear that does not fit well and cause pressure to be placed on the toes and may cramp the feet.
• Extremely high intensity activities like running or jogging that may cause trauma repeatedly to the feet.
• Feet with deformities such as those with bunions, flatfeet, or hammertoes.

The severity of the symptoms will dictate the treatment that will be prescribed by a physician. The first line of therapy will more than likely be a conservative approach such as suggesting the use of foot pads or arch supports in the shoe to alleviate pressure of the nerve.

Resorting to Surgery

Many times when the more conservative forms of treatment have failed to help an individual it may be necessary to perform surgery or some other procedure in order to give an individual relief from the intolerable side effects of Morton’s Neuroma. Many of these are as follows:

• Steroid injections placed in the area experiencing the most pain.
• Cryogenic neuroablation procedure that presents the nerve to frigid temperatures in order to scramble the signals of pain. However, this is not a permanent fix of the problem.
• Surgery in which the nerve is relieved of pressure by structures near it being cut.
• Surgery to get rid of the growth in order to relieve the pain. This not only removes the Neuroma but the nerve as well which could leave the toes permanently numb.

Usually a last resort when all else has failed to work. No matter what treatment that an individual chooses along with the advice of their doctor and surgeon, it is wise to try all other non-invasive options first before surgery is performed as there may be long-term or even permanent damage as there are nerves involved. One should always follow the doctor’s instructions and keep all follow-up appointments so that proper evaluation of the progress of healing can be monitored and any potential problems can be attended to.
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