What Is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition involving swelling and inflammation of the nerve between the toe bones. Typically, the nerve between the third and fourth toes is affected. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition involving swelling and inflammation of the nerve between the toe bones. Typically, the nerve between the third and fourth toes is affected. Morton’s neuroma may cause a burning pain that radiates from the ball of the foot into the toes, and the toes may tingle and feel numb. The person may feel as if there’s a stone in their shoe.
How Common Is Morton’s Neuroma?
About 33% of people have Morton’s neuroma, and women are eight to 10 times more likely than men to develop the condition. Shoe style has an impact on the development of Morton’s neuroma, like high heels and restrictive, narrow styles can put pressure on the balls of the feet and limit toe movement.
People with foot abnormalities, such as flat feet, high arches, bunions, or unusually positioned toes, are also more prone to developing Morton’s neuroma. Those who engage in certain high-impact sports, including running and tennis, repeatedly put a lot of pressure on the balls of their feet, making them more likely to develop Morton’s neuroma.
Common Treatments for Morton’s Neuroma
Self-care measures for treating Morton’s neuroma include resting the feet, applying ice, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A doctor may also administer anti-inflammatory and anesthetizing drugs via injection to alleviate the pain. Choosing shoes with plenty of room in the toe box and using arch supports, metatarsal pads and orthotics may help ease discomfort and prevent future flare-ups.
Doctors sometimes use a freezing procedure called cryogenic neuroablation to destroy nerve cells in the affected area to alleviate pain. Alternatively, radiofrequency ablation heats the nerve tissue to reduce pain. In some cases, a neurectomy is required. This procedure removes part of the nerve tissue surgically to help ease discomfort.