Morton’s Neuroma

A Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition where there is thickening of the tissue surrounding one of the nerves between the toes. This is most commonly found at the interdigital nerve between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals.

Morton’s neuromas occur when the nerve between the toes becomes entrapped, causing it to become inflamed as a result of pressure from the bones of the toes. Over time, this results in thickened scar tissue that can be painful.

A Morton’s neuroma will commonly present as an aching or burning sensation in the ball of the foot that is worse in footwear with a narrow toe box. This feeling may sometimes instead feel like a shooting pain in the ball of the foot that extends into the toes. Some people find that when the foot is under stress, it feels like they have a stone or marble in the ball of their foot.

The most common factors that can result in the formation of a Morton’s neuroma are: ill-fitting footwear (e.g, high heels and shoes with tight toe boxes), hypermobile flat feet (mobile foot that can lead to increased compression of the interdigital nerve), and high-arched feet (can cause excessive, repeated stress on the interdigital nerves).

In the early intervention of a Morton’s neuroma, conservative treatment may involve: a change in footwear, orthotic therapy to redistribute load on the interdigital nerve, NSAIDs for short-term pain relief, and local anaesthetic/corticosteroid injections.

In cases where a Morton’s neuroma cannot be adequately treated conservatively, there are a number of different surgical options that can be performed by a surgeon.

Pro Podiatry SA Tien Nguyen, Podiatrist

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