Mortons Neuroma is a condition that results from a growth that occurs on or near the nerves in the ball of the foot, most often located in the 2nd or 3rd space after the big toe. The condition causes pressure and inflammation of the nerve resulting in a sharp pain or burning sensation in the sole of the foot. The pain can be constant or intermittent and can be increased when pressure is applied to the base of the foot when standing, walking or running.
This type of Neuroma can be very difficult to treat although there are a number of different treatment options available. In most cases, a combination of different treatments are the most effective at alleviating the symptoms.
Treatment may include resting the foot in order to allow inflammation to subside. Cold or ice packs are also recommended to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Orthopedic shoes or pads placed inside the shoes to reduce pressure on the nerves can be beneficial to reducing pain.
If these non-invasive treatments fail to provide relief, pain and anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. However, due to the fact that these medications can become addictive and have mild to severe side effects, drug treatments are only recommended for a short period of time. Pain medication only treats the symptoms of the condition and does not resolve the issue.
Cortisone injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and often provide immediate relief from pain. However, these injections are considered to be invasive as they are injected directly into the affected area. Cortisone also has side effects which does not make it a suitable treatment on a long term basis. Even though the drug is very effective at reducing inflammation, it does not address the cause of the inflammation.
In some cases, these treatments may resolve the condition and eliminate the pain and discomfort. However, in cases where the Neuroma is resolved, it is more than likely to return. Continued resting of the foot as well as wearing suitable shoes is recommended to prevent to condition from recurring.
As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to remove the growth that is causing pressure and inflammation of the nerve. However, this surgery is complicated and risky as damage to the nerve can occur. The swollen nerve tissue may also be removed in a surgical procedure or the entire nerve can be excised in extreme cases. Damage to the nerve or removing the nerve can result in numbness or loss of feeling in the foot and toes.
A surgeon will weigh up the risks of this surgery with the severity of the symptoms of Mortons Neuroma before recommending a procedure. Only in extreme cases where the pain resulting from the condition outweighs the risks involved, will surgery be recommended. In cases where the Neuroma is persistent and negatively impacts quality of life, surgery may also be advisable.
It is highly recommended to visit a medical doctor for a correct diagnosis as well as to discuss the various treatment options that are available for Mortons Neuroma.