Morton’s Neuroma


Morton’s neuroma was first described in 1876 by Dr. Thomas Morton, and was named after him as a result. It is a benign tumor that  affects one of the nerves that run between the long bones (metatarsals) in the foot. It usually affects the nerve that travels between the third and fourth toes, and causes pain and thickening of the tissue around the nerve.

Causes

Morton’s neuroma affects more women than men. The exact cause is unclear; however, the following are believed to be important during the development of Morton’s neuroma:

Symptoms

  • Tingling and numbness in the space between the third and fourth toes
  • Toe cramping
  • Sharp or burning pains which start in the ball of the foot, and shoot into the affected toes
  • Pain that increases when wearing shoes or pressing on the area

Diagnosis

Morton’s neuroma is usually diagnosed during a physical exam. Sometimes, the doctor can feel the “neuroma”, or an area of thickening in the patient’s foot. An X-ray exam maybe needed to make sure nothing else is causing the pain.

Treatment

Symptoms can be completely resolved with simple treatments:

  • Rest the foot, reduce activities that put pressure on the toes
  • Choose better-fitting shoes, avoid wearing tight, pointy, or high-heeled shoes
  • Take anti-inflammation medications to reduce pain and swelling
  • Put ice pack on the area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time
  • Massage the foot

Sometimes, steroid or anaesthetic injections are needed if the simple treatments cannot fully relieve the symptoms.  If all these treatments do not help, surgery is sometimes needed.

We offer ultrasound guided injections with cortisone, dilute alcohol injections, prolotherapy, medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture, active exercises, psychotherapy, biofeedback, and assistive devices like TENS/MET devices, and orthotics.

Sources:

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/mortons-neuroma

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/mortons-neuroma-topic-overview

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007286.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/mortons_neuroma/article.htm

 

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