If you usually wear tight fitting shoes, engage in sporting activities that repetitively put a lot of pressure on your feet or have hammer toes, flat feet, bunions etc. you may be at risk of developing Morton’s Neuroma.
What Is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a common condition that affects the nerves in the ball of the feet. The nerve running between the third or fourth toes, or any other toes, of the foot becomes inflamed or swollen due to a number of reasons. The swollen or inflamed nerve then registers mild or severe pain depending on the severity of the swelling every time pressure is applied on the foot when wearing shoes or walking.
In most cases, people suffering from Morton’s neuroma experience a similar feeling to having a small pebble in the shoe under the foot; or a balled up sock under the front part of the foot when wearing shoes. Removing shoes and massaging the affected foot results into pain relief in mild cases.
Once you go in for a checkup, and your podiatrist ascertains that you are indeed suffering from Morton’s neuroma, he/she will recommend a suitable form of treatment from the available variety of options.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
The first thing your doctor will do when it comes to resolving the pain associated with mild cases of Morton’s neuroma is to recommend a lifestyle change. Some of the changes include a change in the activities that you take part in; especially those that put a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. You may also be advised to wear shoes with a larger toe box. If you are overweight, you may be advised to lose some weight in a bid to ease the pressure on your foot.
Other non-surgical treatment options available to your doctor include prescription of oral anti inflammatory medication, wearing foot pads, physical therapy and prescribing orthotics. The doctor may also use a cortisone injection, which is administered thrice, once every three months. The pain relief experienced is usually temporary.
Sclerosis alcohol injections administered once every week for a few weeks may provide permanent pain relief. The injections are used to deaden the nerve and ultimately reduce its ability to report pain in the affected area.
Where the patient experiences severe pain, the doctor may recommend a procedure to surgically remove the nerve in the affected area. This procedure tends to be simple and straight forward. An incision is made on the upper surface of the foot, just above the inflamed nerve. The specialist tries their best to remove as much of the affected nerve as needed to minimize the risk of the re-occurrence of the condition.
Although all surgical procedures do come with a level of risk, this specific procedure is straight forward as stated above and healing takes between 2-6 weeks.
If you have been experiencing similar symptoms to those described above read the article on the Niagara Health blog then schedule a session with your podiatrist, or doctor who will then recommend a qualified specialist. Where treatment is needed, one of the above options will be chosen.