Morton's Neuroma (Foot)
Morton’s Neuroma develops between the third and fourth digit of the foot. This is an area where two nerves join together and become thicker. A ligament (deep transverse metatarsal ligament) between the bones covers the nerve. Symptoms occur when the nerve is compressed between the ligament and the bottom of the foot.
People with bunions, flat feet, and hammertoe are susceptible to developing Morton’s Neuroma. Pressure from standing, walking, jumping and running or wearing high heeled, pointed toe, or tight-fitting shoes can contribute to the condition. High impact sports, such as racquetball, squash, or tennis, can lead to Morton’s Neuroma.
If conservative treatments do not provide relief, your podiatrist may inject your foot. Corticosteroid medication is used to reduce pain and inflammation. Alcohol sclerosing injections are used to harden the nerve area and relieve pain.
Surgery may be recommended when symptoms persist and other treatments do not provide symptom relief. There are surgical options for Morton’s Neuroma: Release surgery and removal surgery. Release surgery involves making an incision on the top of the foot to access the deep transverse metatarsal ligament that covers the nerve. By making an incision in the ligament, the pressure is released from the nerve.
Removal surgery is performed through the bottom of the foot. The neuroma is easier to access this way. The neuroma is surgically removed, and the incision is closed with stitches.
Contact your podiatrist if you suspect that you have Morton’s Neuroma. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent future surgery. You may help prevent Morton’s Neuroma by modifying your activities to reduce high-pressure repetitive forces to your feet. Wearing low heel shoes with wide toe boxes, padding, and orthotics as recommended by your doctor can all help.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.