A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common type of neuroma that occurs in the foot is known as Morton’s neuroma, which occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes. 

This condition can also sometimes be referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma. In this case, “intermetatarsal” describes its location—in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones (the bones extending from the toes to the midfoot). While this is the most common location, neuromas can also occur in other locations in the foot. If you’re interested in learning more about what the Synergy Foot and Ankle team can do for your Morton’s neuroma, reach out to us at our McKinney location and set up your consultation today.

Common Symptoms of Neuroma

The thickening, or enlargement, of the nerve that defines a neuroma, is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates swelling of the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage, and can be caused by anything ranging from footwear that doesn’t fit you properly to genetic predisposition.

If you have Morton’s neuroma, you will probably have one or more of these symptoms where the nerve damage is occurring:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
  • Feeling that there is a sock bunched up in your shoe

Morton’s Neuroma Progression

The progression of Morton’s neuroma often follows this pattern:

  • The symptoms begin gradually. At first, they occur only occasionally when wearing narrow-toed shoes or performing certain aggravating activities.
  • The symptoms may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding aggravating shoes or activities.
  • Over time, the symptoms progressively worsen and may persist for several days or weeks.
  • The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma enlarges and the temporary changes in the nerve become permanent.

What’s Causing My Neuroma?

Nerve Compression

Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. One of the most common offenders is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. Shoes like these can be putting pressure on vulnerable nerves for a long time before the discomfort begins.

Deformities and Injury

People with certain foot deformities—bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet, or more flexible feet—are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or racquet sports. An injury or other type of trauma to the area may also lead to a neuroma.

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Exploring Your Treatment Options

Treatment for neuroma will start conservatively, and we’ll explore various ways of managing your discomfort. In many cases, lifestyle changes, new footwear, or custom orthotics can help to alleviate an issue like this. If the problem persists or has already become quite severe, surgical intervention may be required.

Led by Dr. Tran, the team here at Synergy Foot and Ankle is highly experienced and brings an extensive level of training to the table. We’ll work with you to get to the bottom of your issue, so you can discover the relief you deserve. To learn more about how we can help you with your foot pain, reach out to our McKinney location and set up your consultation with a member of our team today!

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