What is Morton’s neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot condition caused by one of the nerves in your foot becoming irritated. This can result in the sensation of having a small stone stuck in your shoe, shooting pains, tingling or numbness around the ball of the foot, particularly below the 3rd and 4th toes.
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Wearing tight or high-heeled shoes, being overweight, or doing a lot of sports can contribute to the irritation of the nerve. It can also be made worse if you have flat feet or high arches.
How is Morton’s neuroma diagnosed?
Morton’s neuroma is most commonly diagnosed by a thorough clinical assessment. The diagnosis can be confirmed using an ultrasound scan, although sometimes an x-ray is also needed.
Treatment and recovery
Initially, symptoms can be well managed with appropriate footwear (wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel) and special shoe insoles that help to take the pressure off the affected area. Resting and keeping the feet elevated when possible can also give symptomatic relief but is often not practical in the long term. If further treatment is needed, the area of the irritated nerve can be injected with a painkiller.
Many people eventually require surgical removal of the affected part of the nerve. This can normally be done as a day case, which means that you won’t need to stay in hospital overnight.
Recovery from this surgery usually takes up to 3 weeks and includes wearing specially designed shoes.