What Is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may occur in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which happens in between the 3rd and fourth toes. Additionally, it is often referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma. Intermetatarsal explains its place in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones. However, neuromas may also happen in other locations in the foot.
Anything that triggers compression or irritation of the nerve can result in the formation of a neuroma. Therefore, one of the most typical culprits is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box or high-heeled shoes that trigger the toes to be forced into the toe box. Likewise, individuals with specific foot deformities– bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet or more flexible feet– are at greater danger for developing a neuroma. Other potential causes are activities that include repeated irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running, dancing, aerobics or court sports. An injury to the area may also cause a neuroma. Forefoot runners are especially prone to getting neuromas.
If you have Morton’s neuroma, you might have several of these signs where the nerve damage is happening:
- Tingling, burning or pins and needles
- A sensation that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A sensation that there is something in the shoe or your sock is bunched up
The progression of Morton’s neuroma typically follows this pattern:
- The signs start gradually. In the beginning, they happen just occasionally when using narrow-toed shoes or performing certain irritating activities.
- The signs might go away temporarily by eliminating the shoe, rubbing the foot or avoiding irritating shoes or activities.
- Gradually, the symptoms gradually intensify and might persist for numerous days or weeks.
- The symptoms end up being more extreme as the neuroma enlarges. Therefore the injury to the nerve may end up being permanent. So seek early treatment!
Before he reaches a medical diagnosis, Dr. Cruz will obtain an extensive history of your signs and symptoms and he will examine your foot. During the physical examination, he tries to replicate your symptoms by manipulating your foot. Other tests or imaging studies may be carried out.
The best time to see Dr. Cruz is early in the development of symptoms. Early medical diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma greatly lessens the need for more invasive treatments and may help you avoid surgical treatment.
In developing a treatment plan, Dr. Cruz will initially identify how long you have had the neuroma and will evaluate its phase of advancement. However, treatment methods differ according to the severity of the problem.
For mild to moderate neuromas, treatment options might consist of:
- Cushioning. Padding may help support the metatarsals and the metatarsal arch, therefore decreasing the pressure on the nerve and decreasing the compression when walking.
- Icing. Placing an icepack on the affected area helps in reducing swelling.
- Custom Orthotic devices. Customized orthotic devices provided by the Gentle Foot Care Clinic provide the long-term treatment needed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve.
- Activity adjustments. Activities that put recurring pressure on the neuroma need to be avoided up until the condition improves.
- Shoe modifications. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and prevent narrow-toed shoes or shoes with high heels.
- Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, might be advised to minimize pain and swelling assuming that you are not allergic.
- Injection treatment. Treatment may consist of injections of cortisone, anesthetics or other agents.
Brandon Podiatrist Jairo Cruz Jr has the answer
In conclusion, Jairo Cruz has years of experience in podiatry practice. He wants you to be able to walk, run, climb, and play without any foot pain. However, if you suspect you might have Morton’s Neuroma or a foot pain that you can’t easily explain, please stop by his Brandon Podiatrist office. Please call us for an appointment today at (813) 502-5904. For our Zephyrhills office call (813) 782-3233