Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition caused by the thickening of a nerve usually between the third and fourth toes (interdigital nerve). This thickening results from any form of compression and irritation of the nerve, which can eventually lead to permanent nerve damage. Compression can occur from repetitive activities such as running, injury, wearing high-heeled, tapering and tight shoes, or may be associated with certain conditions such as hammertoes, flatfeet, bunions or more flexible feet.
Morton’s neuroma is characterized by severe pain in the ball of the foot with the sensation that you are stepping on a pebble, burning pain that may radiate to the toes, or numbness or tingling sensation in the toes.
Treatment for Morton’s neuroma depends on the severity of the condition. In the initial stages, your doctor may recommend non-surgical options such as changing your footwear, calf stretching exercises, or administering steroid, local anesthetic or sclerosant injections (combination of alcohol and anesthetic). When these methods do not help relieve pain, surgery may be recommended, where your surgeon makes a small incision between the affected toes and decompresses (creates more space) or resects (removes) the damaged nerve.