Morton's Neuroma

What is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue, occurring in any part of the body. Morton's neuroma is the most common neuroma of the foot, occurring at the base of the third and fourth toes. The thickening of the nerve is a result of compression and irritation to the nerve, which can eventually lead to nerve damage. 

Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma

  • Tingling, burning, or numbness
  • Pain
  • A foreign body sensation in the ball of the foot, or the feeling of a sock being bunched up in the shoe.

Morton's neuroma usually progresses as such:

  • The symptoms initially appear gradually, occurring only when wearing narrow-toed shoes or when performing certain activities
  • They may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding the aggravating shoes or activities
  • The symptoms progressively worsen and may continue for several day or weeks
  • The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma gets bigger, and the temporary changes in the nerve become permanent

Causes of a Neuroma
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can cause a neuroma. One of the most common causes is wearing shoes with a narrow toe box. People with certain foot deformities, like bunions, hammertoes, or flatfoot, are more likely to develop a neuroma. Repetitive irritation or trauma can also cause a neuroma.

Your podiatrist will review your history of symptoms with you, as well as examining and manipulating your foot in an attempt to reproduce the symptoms you have experienced.. Early diagnosis is key to preventing more invasive treatment options, so it is important that you see your podiatrist early in the development of your symptoms.