A foot neuroma shows itself as a pain in the ball of your foot, most often between the third and fourth toes, which is called a Morton’s neuroma. Symptoms range from mere discomfort or feeling like there’s a rock in your shoe to searing pain or stinging. The toes might hurt or be numb, or you might be experiencing a radiating pain that shoots from the ball of your foot out into the toes. Like many foot conditions, it’s important to get this treated because it will only get worse.
Neuromas are caused by the thickening of tissue around the nerves that lead into your toes. It’s the body’s way of trying to protect the nerve from injury. While we don’t fully understand what causes foot neuromas, doctor’s suspect the culprit is some kind of irritation, injury or unusual pressure on the nerve. That’s because it’s relatively common among patients who:
When you come in for an appointment, we’ll do a thorough examination of your foot and may take an X-ray or ultrasound to rule out any other possible causes of the pain.
There are several ways we can treat foot neuromas. We’ll start by taking a look at the type of shoes you wear to see if that might be the culprit. (It’s amazing what the wrong shoes can do to your feet!) We might recommend arch supports or orthotics to relieve the pain and allow the tissue to return to normal. Other possible options, depending on the severity and level of pain, include corticosteroid injections, chemical neurolysis, and surgery, but only after we have exhausted all other treatment options.
When more conservative treatments do not work, we might recommend chemical neurolysis. Patients receive a series of injections of an alcohol solution mixed with an anesthetic. The solution is injected directly into the nerve that is causing the pain, often assisted by the use of an ultrasound, to destroy that portion of the nerve.
We see a success rate of anywhere between 60-90 percent with chemical neurolysis, there are very few side effects and virtually no recovery time. You might feel a little pain in that area a day or two after the injections, but it’s most likely going to be less that what you felt with the neuroma. Most importantly, it can help avoid the cost, pain and recovery time that comes with surgery.
If you are experiencing any type of pain or discomfort in your foot, call our office for an appointment at 859-264-1411.