What is a Neuroma ?
Often described as a “morton’s neuroma” it is a thickened and swollen section of nerve usually forming between the 2nd/3rd and 3rd/4th toes, sometimes relieved by removing your footwear and massaging your foot.
What does the pain feel like ?
People who suffer with a neuroma generally describe the pain or sensation in many ways.
Some people describe feelings of a “rolled up sock underneath their toes” or “feeling of a small pebble or marble underneath their foot.”
As the pain and sensations start to increase, people may complain of any of the following symptoms:
- Soreness, clicking and burning.
- Tingling sensation in the toe.
- Numbness at the end of the toe.
- Stabbing pain.
- Extremely sharp pain when standing and walking.
How does a neuroma form ?
- Wearing tight fitting footwear.
- Biomechanical fault within the foot eg flat feet, bunions.
- Increased activity eg running which places more stress and load onto the front of the foot.
How to identify a neuroma ?
There are a number of other conditions within the foot that can mimic the symptoms of a neuroma. If the neuroma is fairly large and inflamed, compressing the forefoot can often elicit a clicking sensation and reproduce your symptoms, however this is not always conclusive.
If after examination your symptoms do indicate a possible neuroma, the most accurate way of identifying it is with either an MRI or ultrasound scan.
Treatment for a neuroma ?
The patients we tend to see have already tried all conservative (non-surgical) treatments which can include:
- Avoiding high heel shoes.
- Wearing wider footwear.
- Orthotics insoles and pads.
If a neuroma has been correctly identified, the next stage of treatment is to consider a steroid injection in combination with non-surgical treatments. This is performed using ultrasound by your Consultant Podiatric Surgeon, who will carefully guide the injection into the correct area.
If patients respond well to steroid therapy which has been shown to last up to 6 months or longer, we will consider a second injection. If a second injection fails to provide relief you should then consider surgery.
Surgery to remove your neuroma is performed under local anaesthetic as an Outpatient procedure which takes around 20 – 30 minutes, which requires making a small incision on the top of the foot.
Following a brief recovery you are discharged home.