Morton’s Neuroma is a condition affects the ball of the foot, specifically the area around toes three and four. Under normal circumstances, a neuroma is a type of benign tumor. However, in the case of Morton’s Neuroma, it is not a tumor at all, but simply an area around a nerve where thickening has occurred. Sufferers have likened the pain of this condition to the feeling of having a rock in their shoe. Some may confuse Morton’s Neuroma and Metatarsalgia, because they both affect the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia is the result of inflammation, and the related pain is duller, like a bruise.
Women are much more likely than men to experience this neuroma of the foot. This is likely due to wearing high-heeled shoes. Runners and others who participate in high-impact sports, or skiers and those who wear tight footwear may also suffer more often.
What causes Morton’s Neuroma?
The area around the nerve thickens as part of the body’s defense mechanism when some sort of irritation or injury occurs. The initial cause of the irritation or injury may not be found, but doctors do understand the contributing factors to this foot condition.
Repetitive pressure on the ball of the foot can be caused by activity, footwear choices, and other common foot deformities. Runners and other athletes put a lot of stress on this area, and that repetitive impact can be an issue. In fact, Morton’s Neuroma has been considered to be one of the top five injuries that runners endure. Other sports require participants to wear tight shoes, which also apply added stress.
Sometimes the ball of the foot is impacted by deformities of the foot that change the biomechanics. Those with flat-feet or hammertoes may change their gait as an accommodation. When this happens, pressure is applied to another area of the foot. As the body responds to this unwanted strain, this type of neuroma can be irritated.
What can the doctor do for me?
Foot pain does not have to be a part of your daily life. Morton’s neuroma is treatable. If you have been experiencing sharp pain near your third and fourth toe, or if you have felt like you are stepping on a stone, see your doctor right away. Call Podiatrist Lawrence Kales today at his Hudson, FL office, or the Spring Hill, FL location. Be prepared to describe your discomfort, and note if any particular activities or footwear seem to worsen your pain.
A physical examination of the foot will identify any obvious abnormalities of the foot. An x-ray may be taken to rule out a break, but for a good look at your soft tissue, an ultrasound is very useful. Once Morton’s neuroma has been given as the official diagnosis, your treatment plan will be made.
Choosing different footwear may be the first (and simplest) way to combat this problem. Shoes that are not too tight, and that provide adequate support are very helpful. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed. Both of these things are done to try and decrease the amount of pressure on the ball of the foot. In some cases, injections of corticosteroid may be used. This drug is an anti-inflammatory, and may provide some relief. Don’t let pain keep you off your feet. Call Podiatrist Lawrence Kales today!