A Neuroma is an enlargement or thickening of nerve tissue. This benign condition can develop in many parts of the body, including the foot. The most frequent form of Neuroma that we treat at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists is Morton’s Neuroma which occurs between the third and fourth toes on the ball of the foot.
What Causes Neuromas?
Neuromas occur when nerves get irritated due to the friction of tissue rubbing up against them or from excess pressure. One of the most common sources of this nerve irritation is the pressure from shoes that have a tight toe box or high heels (which force the toes into the front of the shoe). Other possible causes include:
Overuse from activities that deliver repeated pounding to the ball of the foot, such as basketball or running
An injury or trauma to the foot
Oftentimes the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma start gradually. Patients may feel pain or the sensation that there is a rock in their shoe or something under the ball of the foot. Other signs include tingling, burning or numbness in the affected area of the foot. Although symptoms may be alleviated temporarily with rest or massaging the painful area, they will only get worse over time. Left untreated, Neuromas will result in permanent nerve damage.
If these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. A complete physical exam, medical history and the use of imaging studies will help the foot doctor confirm a diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma.
There are several non-surgical treatment options available, including orthotics and cortisone shots. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended. If you believe you may have a Neuroma in your foot, contact our Reading office as soon as possible and put yourself on the road to relief.