Intermetatarsal neuroma, or simply known as Morton’s neuroma, occurs when the nerves between the toes become swollen, usually accompanied by severe pain or numbness in the toes. Usually, this occurs between the third and fourth toes but the veins between the second and third toes can become inflamed. Nerve swelling occurs when it becomes squeezed or irritated when it presses against the bones.
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Causes of Morton’s neuroma
There’s no specific reason why this happens, but wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes is a big factor. High heels or pointy shoes are the biggest culprits, and it’s no surprise Women are more likely to have Morton’s neuroma When compared to men, especially once they reach their middle age.
High-impact activities such as running cause frequent trauma to your feet, especially if you have an abnormal gait. It is very important that you look for suitable running shoes such as those listed wired runner Those that have proper arch support and can reduce pressure on the nerve.
Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma vary from person to person. In some cases, patients are diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma even though they do not exhibit any symptoms. For most patients, symptoms include:
- swelling between the toes
- tingling sensation and numbness
- Feeling like there is a pebble under the ball of the foot when wearing the shoe
- sharp pain between the toes when walking
- pain in the fore
Morton’s neuroma treatment
Unfortunately, Morton’s neuroma will not go away on its own, but symptoms may come and go, depending on your footwear and your daily activities. A doctor will first need to diagnose your problems by asking questions related to your pain. Then, he or she will examine your foot by pressing on the painful areas and looking for areas that are swollen. He or she will confirm the diagnosis using imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, or even magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Depending on the diagnosis, he may advise you to treat it at home. If your symptoms are not severe, there are some home remedies you can try to give some relief:
- Take a break from high impact activities
- ice massage
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and pain.
- Put arch supports and footpads inside your shoes
If these symptoms do not subside, the doctor may suggest these options:
The doctor may recommend either corticosteroid or alcohol sclerosing injections. Corticosteroid injections help reduce inflammation and swelling but can have negative side effects if not administered properly. Alcohol ingestion has been shown to reduce the size of Morton’s neuroma.
If symptoms persist, surgery is the only way. Usually, there are two options. The doctor may perform a decompression surgery by removing structures near the nerves, such as ligaments, to reduce pressure on the nerve or to remove the nerve. This second option carries some risk as some patients may feel permanent numbness in the area.