If you’re like most people, you probably take your feet for granted — until they cause you pain or make it difficult to walk. Morton’s neuroma is a common foot condition that can make walking, running, or even standing on your feet difficult.
The good news is that when addressed early, Morton’s neuroma can be treated without surgery. But if you miss the signs of this nerve issue, you could end up in the operating room.
At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our board-certified podiatrists help men and women in Texas get back on their feet with personalized Morton’s neuroma treatments. Keep reading to better understand this condition and the telltale signs you could have Morton’s neuroma.
What is Morton’s neuroma?
You develop a neuroma when a nerve gets compressed, and the signals it sends are disrupted. Morton’s neuroma describes the compression of nerves in the ball of your foot.
It typically affects the nerves going to your toes, usually between the third and fourth toes, and results when the tissues around the nerves grow into a thick, fibrous mass. This compresses the nerves, irritating them and triggering painful symptoms.
Wearing high heels increases your risk of developing this painful condition. Other risk factors include:
- Having a job or hobby that keeps you on your feet
- Wearing ill-fitting or tight shoes
- Having certain foot conditions (e.g., bunions, hammertoe)
Some physical activities are also associated with Morton’s neuroma, like long-distance running or sports that put pressure on your feet.
How can I spot the telltale signs of Morton’s neuroma?
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms with Morton’s neuroma. However, there are four telltale signs that most people with the condition experience:
1. Feeling like there’s a pebble or marble in your shoe
This symptom is fairly unique to Morton’s neuroma. It causes you to feel like you’ve got a small pebble or marble in your shoe — even when walking barefoot or in sandals.
2. Tingling or numbness in your feet
Morton’s neuroma is a compressed nerve. As a result, it can cause the ball of your foot to tingle or even feel numb.
3. Pain in your toes
Like many other foot issues, Morton’s neuroma can be painful. One of the telltale signs is pain between your toes, in your toes, and that gets worse when you walk or put weight on your feet.
4. Toe “spasm” or separation
When you have Morton’s neuroma, the nerve can cause the muscles that control your toes to spasm. This can cause the toes to move or separate without your control. It can also be painful.
Keep in mind that other foot issues can trigger the same or similar symptoms. It’s a good idea to come in for a diagnosis sooner rather than later since early detection and treatment can help you avoid surgery.
Do treatments for Morton’s neuroma exist?
If you recognize the telltale signs of Morton’s neuroma, don’t wait to set up a consultation with a board-certified podiatrist.
At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our team assesses the stage of your condition and how the symptoms impact your life to create a personalized treatment plan.
In the early stages, our providers generally recommend more conservative therapies to help ease the pressure on your nerve and improve your symptoms, including options such as:
- Lifestyle changes (e.g., changing the shoes you wear; stopping any activities that trigger symptoms)
- Wearing custom orthotics
- Corticosteroid injections
- Over-the-counter and/or prescription pain/anti-inflammatory medications
Your provider may suggest surgery when Morton’s neuroma is advanced or if your symptoms don’t respond to these less-invasive treatments. Our team uses the latest podiatric surgery techniques to remove the neuroma and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
If you recognize these signs of Morton’s neuroma, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Center.