Sometimes a painful ball develops under the base of the toes. In podiatry, this is called “Morton’s Neuroma”. It occurs when a nerve gets squeezed or pinched between a bone and as a result, swells up forming a hardened ball. Overtime, hard fibrous tissue, or a callus, forms over the nerve making it hard.
Every time a step is taken, this nerve is pressed causing pain. The most common place for Morton’s Neuroma to form is between the middle toe. The bump is located in the ball of one’s foot and can cause one's pain to shoot into the toes.
Here is a list of the types of pain you can experience:
- Sharp foot pain
- “Pins and Needle” sensations
Sometimes, when the nerve is pressed, a popping sensation can sound. The pain may be worse without the protection of one’s shoes or when wearing uncomfortable tight shoes such as high-heels.
Uncomfortable shoes are often the cause of Morton’s Neuroma and the vast majority of cases are women due to the regularity of wearing uncomfortable shoes such as high heels. Bunions are another cause of Morton’s Neuroma because of the bones of the toe pressing together.
The treatment of a Neuroma is two-fold: one, the nerve must shrink back to it’s normal size and two, decreasing pain by eliminating the pressure on the neuroma.
At The American Foot and Ankle Specialists, we offer a cortisone injection to shrink the size of the neuroma, which will in turn, decrease the amount of pain you feel when walking. The point is to take as much pressure off of the neuroma as possible. This is why prescription foot orthotics are great treatment option for neuromas. They provide the maximum amount of support for your feet while walking.
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and avoid wearing tight shoes that have a tight toe-box. If the hardened fibrous tissue will not go away after conservative treatment, the abnormal section of the nerve may need to be surgically removed, though, most neuromas do not require surgical intervention.
The American Foot and Ankle Specialists have locations in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ. Call 480-483-9000 and schedule your consultation today!
As Sun City podiatrists and Scottsdale podiatrists, Dr. John Erotas and Dr. Michael Stegman each have over three decades of experience treating Morton’s Neuroma and are confident that this problem can disappear. Call 480-483-9000 and schedule your appointment now! Same and next day appointments are often available!
By Michael Stegman