A neuroma (Morton’s neuroma) is a condition that arises from irritation of a nerve resulting in inflammation of the nerve sheath, or covering, and the possible formation of scar tissue around the nerve. It is a benign condition that occurs most commonly in the small nerve that runs between the metatarsal bones in the ball of the foot and into the third and fourth toes. Irritation to the nerve can result from improper shoes (too narrow, high heels), injury, or a mechanical abnormality of the foot.
The most common symptom of a neuroma is pain in the ball of the foot that may radiate into the toes or even up the foot to the heel or ankle. The pain is variously described as sharp, burning, or tingling in nature. Oftentimes, patients have difficulty pinpointing the exact location of the pain and may complain of a generalized discomfort in the ball of the foot or the feeling that their sock is bunched up under the foot. Symptoms can be aggravated by activity that bends the foot—walking, running, wearing high-heeled shoes—or by wearing tight shoes. If the neuroma becomes large, you may also experience a “clicking” sensation or “lump” in the ball of your foot.
Treatment for neuromas generally depends on the amount of discomfort or disability you are experiencing. Trying wider shoes or shoes with shorter heels may be beneficial, especially in the early stages. Ice applied to the bottom of the foot may also relieve the pain associated with a neuroma. When conservative measures fail to relieve the symptoms, consultation with a Weil Foot & Ankle Institute podiatrist is advised to discuss further options.
At the Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, we have been the first in the world to treat this condition with Extracoporeal Pulse Activation Therapy (EPAT). EPAT is a non-invasive treatment that does not require immobilization or a disabling recovery.
Over 200,000 patients have found relief from their foot pain, heel pain or ankle pain, and we’re confident we can help you too. Your feet will thank you! For additional information on neuroma treatment or to schedule an appointment, call Weil Foot & Ankle at (847) 390-7666. With 15 podiatry offices in and around the Chicago area, including Aurora, Des Plaines, Glenview, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and Roselle, IL, there is sure to be a podiatry office near you!