Florida Foot Specialist

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Office Locations

Boca Raton: (561) 447-7571   |   Okeechobee: (863) 357-1166   |   Clewiston: (863) 983-0307

How Common Is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a condition that develops usually between the third and fourth toes of your foot.  It occasionally can occur between the second and third toes and other areas on the foot but rarely. 

It’s much more common in women than in men – most likely due to the narrow-toed and high-heeled shoes that women tend to wear.

What Are The Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

Symptoms of a Morton’s Neuroma include:

  • sharp pain
  • burning sensation
  • numbness in the affected area
  • usually gets worse when walking and/or applying pressure on the forefoot

This is a soft tissue deformity and will not show up on x-ray.

How Is Morton’s Neuroma Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made by eliciting pain while pinching soft tissue between the toes. You may also notice that you can see an increased gap or space between your toes.

Moving your toes in certain directions may also cause a clicking sensation as the enlarged nerve slides under a nearby ligament.

How Did I Get Morton’s Neuroma?

You may be wondering how did this happen?  How did you get this pain inducing problem?

A neuroma is formed by irritation and rubbing of the nerve, similar to the way a callus is formed on your skin from excessive rubbing or pressure.  The nerve “skin” gradually thickens to protect itself, forming a benign tumor.

When the arch of your foot collapses, it causes excess force to shift away from the big toe and onto the smaller bones of your forefoot.

These smaller bones are not designed to handle the loads, so the excess force tends to break down the tissues under them, including the nerves running between them to the toes.

As the nerve thickens to protect itself, it occupies more space and is more easily rubbed.

Eventually, the nerve gets so big that it is sensitive to every step and it can even spread the toes (called “the daylight sign” since you can see light between your toes, as pictured below).

Shoewear that is too tight in the toe area, high heels that place additional pressure on your forefoot, and an increase in activity are also thought to exacerbate the pain of a Morton’s Neuroma.

How Is Morton’s Neuroma Treated?

As with most foot problems there are two main concepts in the treatment of a Morton’s Neuroma:

  1. reduce the symptoms, and
  2. address the underlying cause.

The treatment methods include:

  • Injections
  • Surgery
  • Foot Orthotics

Injections

Cortisone can be injected into the area to control inflammation and pain. This may be helpful in reducing the pain temporarily but does not address the cause of your symptoms.

Overuse of injected steroids can result in side effects such as weight gain and increased blood pressure and can interfere with proper healing, which is why patients only receive a limited number of injections.

Surgery

In cases that do not respond to conservative measures, your doctor may recommend surgery.

The surgery is thought to be very successful in reducing the pain of a Morton’s Neuroma but is a last resort as it comes with risks.

The surgery involves the removal of both the tumor and some of your nerve. This often causes permanent numbness in the affected toes.

The nerve will grow back slowly over time though its new shape and size may make it more susceptible to the same irritation that caused the original problem.

If the underlying cause of the original problem is not treated, the nerve will become a “stump neuroma” which is often more painful than the first one.

Foot Orthotics

The right custom made orthotics will address your pain by correcting the cause of your foot dysfunction.

Sole Supports are uniquely designed to support and restore full arch function in your feet. This also restores proper weight distribution over the big toe and removes the abnormal pressures causing your nerve to thicken.

The nerve can then heal and shrink back to normal size. It is important to note that, as with most conditions, attacking the problem early enough is critical to avoid the need for surgery.

Should surgery eventually be necessary, though, use of Sole Supports™ immediately after surgery can help insure that the tumor does not come back.

What Can I Expect From Any Of These Treatments?

With a proper diagnosis, and a well-rounded treatment plan based on effective orthotics, the prognosis is excellent. Over 90% of cases will respond favorably to proper orthotic management if addressed early enough.

What is it?

Tibialis Anterior and/or Tibialis Posterior tendonitis or “shin splints” generally refers to pain anywhere along the shinbone (tibia) between the knee and the ankle.

It occurs as an overuse injury with damage and inflammation of the tendons and muscles that run up the shin. Shin splints is commonly seen in runners and athletes.

Signs and symptoms may include pain along the front inside edge of your shin. You may also have pain on the inner back side of your leg. The area may be tender to the touch and in some cases can become red and swollen.

You may be able to reproduce the pain of shin splints by pointing your foot and toes down, but it is mostly aggravated by activity and exercise. Your doctor may consider an x-ray to rule out stress fractures and other conditions.