Painful Neuromas of The Foot

Neuromas are tumors or new tissue growth that contain nerve fibers and neurons. These growths usually occur around nerve tissues and can occur anywhere in the body. The most common type of neuroma on the foot is called Morton's neuroma.

Mortons neuroma or sometimes referred to as intermetatarsal neuroma are non-neoplastic tumors, meaning there are no actual nerve growths and only nerve swelling occurs. The neuromas are commonly found at the balls of the feet between the metatarsal bones. Though neuromas can occur anywhere in the foot, this type of neuroma is usually located between the 3rd and 4th toes.

Morton's neuroma occurs because of constant compression of the nerve due to improper footwear. This compression irritates the nerve causing it to thicken and enlarge.

Initial symptoms are numbness, burning, or tingling sensation of the foot. With continued use of improper footwear like pointed shoes, the nerves becomes more irritated and enlarged. This causes sharp foot pain that persists for several days and not relieved by rest. In some cases, permanent nerve damage can occur.

neuroma foot pain
Non-surgical treatments can be done for mild to moderate neuromas.

1. Ice packs help relieve swelling and reduce pain.

2. Orthotic devices and paddings can help lessen the pressure on the nerves of metatarsal arch.

3. Pain relievers can be taken to reduce inflammation and pain.

4. Steroid injections help reduce local swelling and inflammation.

Surgical treatment is reserved only if the above treatments are unsuccessful in treating foot pain. Usually, cryosurgery of the neuroma is the preferred procedure because of high success rate.

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