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What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a condition in which the plantar digital nerve (the nerve that runs between the third and fourth toes) becomes trapped by surrounding ligaments. In turn, the compressed nerve can become inflamed and send out pain signals throughout the body. Sometimes, the body produces additional tissue in response to the compression, which can further limit the amount of space available for the nerves.

This condition usually develops as a result of pressure placed on the ball of the foot. For instance, it can be triggered by:

  • Routinely wearing high-heeled shoes, which redistribute much of the body’s weight to the front of the foot
  • Participating in high-impact exercises, such as distance running, which puts repeated stress on the nerves and ligaments in the feet
  • Having an anatomical deformity, such as a bunion or exceptionally high arches, that changes the alignment of the ligaments and nerves within the foot

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma

The most common symptom of Morton’s neuroma is pain at the bottom of the foot, which may radiate through the toes. This pain tends to be most pronounced during movement, such as walking or exercising. While it can remain present for an extended period of time, the pain more often comes and goes. Some people also experience a sensation of something small and sharp stuck in their shoe.

How is Morton’s neuroma treated?

While it is possible to surgically remove damaged nerve tissue from the foot, most people do not need surgery for Morton’s neuroma. Conservative therapies, such as medications, corticosteroid injections, topical creams, and periodic rest are often highly effective. Custom-designed cushions can also make shoes much more comfortable.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, our foot and ankle specialists frequently treat patients with Morton’s neuroma and other painful neurological conditions. Because we focus on foot and ankle injuries, we can expertly diagnose your issue and help you find a reliable way to manage it.

Our approach typically focuses on nonsurgical treatment, as this can help you get back to your daily activities with as little downtime as possible. However, if surgery is ultimately necessary, our board-certified and double-board-certified orthopedists can perform state-of-the-art procedures to help relieve the symptoms of your Morton’s neuroma. And, our surgeons work hand-in-hand with our other care providers, including our physical therapists, to provide the most comprehensive foot and ankle care in the Houston, TX, area. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics today.