If you’re like most people, you have one instinct, and one instinct only, when your sock gets bunched up in your shoe, or a pebble gets trapped between your foot and flip flop—get it out!
What if that sensation didn’t come from a foreign obstruction, but from inside your own foot? That’s a bit like the experience of a Morton’s neuroma. In this condition, tissues surrounding a nerve in the ball of your foot (usually between third and fourth toes) thicken, creating a potentially quite painful sensation every time you take a step. You may not be able to feel a physical lump, but you’ll feel its presence.
Fortunately, you have options for negotiating a painful neuroma, and the earlier who seek help the more likely conservative therapies will be effective. The main objective of conservative treatment is to relieve pain and reduce pressure on area of thickened tissue so it isn’t pressing painfully on the nerve. In relatively minor cases, this could be as simple as pitching the high heels and finding a good, comfortable, well-fitting pair of shoes with good cushioning and a little extra width and depth in the toe area. In other cases, after an inspection of your feet, we may recommend inserts such as arch supports or custom orthotics to rebalance the weight across your feet and protect the neuroma site.
When pain flairs up at home, OTC anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen), ice, or massage can work wonders. We may also provide corticosteroid injections in our office for tougher pain.
If conservative treatment options have failed, we may recommend decompression surgery (cutting surrounding tissues to allow more room) or full or partial removal of the nerve. This is considered a last resort, but may be the best option depending on your situation.
Fortunately, about 4 in 5 cases can be adequately resolved without surgery, and those numbers go up the earlier you schedule an appointment with us. To see one of the expert podiatrists at Carolina Podiatry Group about your neuroma pain, request an appointment online, or give us a call toll free at 888-569-9559.