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Morton's Neuroma is often termed an "inter-digital" neuroma because it is found between the toes of the foot, most commonly the 3rd and 4th toes. It can also occur between the metatarsal bones (see Anatomy).

It is basically an entrapped nerve which becomes inflamed due to constant irritation from the surrounding bony structures. If this trauma persists, soft tissue adaptation will result in the thickening of the nerve. Symptoms associated with a neuroma include a dull burning sensation radiating towards the toes, or even a stinging sensation that can be described as being similar to an electric shock. Pain under the ball of the foot is also often experienced.

 


Constant trauma from the surrounding bones damages the nerve branches and therefore the body will try and protect the nerve by increasing the thickness of the nerves insulating sheath. This constant abuse to the nerve branch is present when the foot is unstable. This means that there is an imbalance in the structure of the foot causing abnormal motion. This abnormal motion is the primary factor associated with the formation of a neuroma. A neuroma should be initially treated conservatively, your podiatrist will examine you and possibly do a gait assessment to see what is causing the problem. We often find the cause to be poorly fitting shoes and poor foot function leading to too much compressive force on the foot. Often we will prescribe custom made orthotic devices to help with this problem. Generally this will solve this problem, however in a few cases particularly in patients who have left the condition untreated for a long time surgery may be the only option. This removes the nerve which leaves the foot with no sensation in two toes, this loss of feeling will stay forever. The sooner you see your podiatrist the better the outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Page last updated 14 October, 2007