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Neurectomy for Morton’s neuroma

If foot pain is affecting your ability to walk, our self-pay neurectomy surgery can help alleviate discomfort.

What is Morton’s neuroma?

If you have Morton’s neuroma, you’ll have a thickening of the metatarsal nerves in your feet which causes an acute shooting, burning or stabbing pain on the ball of your foot or in your toes.

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What are the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma?

You might not see visible signs of Morton’s neuroma on your foot, no lump or redness for example.

  • A feeling like there’s a rolled-up sock or a small rock under the ball of your foot
  • Swelling between the toes
  • Pins and needles and numbness in your foot
  • Pain that’s worse when you stand on the balls of your feet or wear high heels
  • A sharp, burning or stinging pain between the toes when you stand or walk

Who is likely to get Morton’s neuroma?

Someone with a damaged nerve between their toe bones will likely develop Morton’s neuroma. Women are more likely to develop Morton’s neuroma than men. However, the following factors can increase your chances of developing it.

  • Having a congenital foot problem such as being born with flat feet, high arches or toes in an unusual position
  • Certain foot conditions such as bunions and hammer toes which develop over time
  • Wearing unsupportive shoes
  • Putting pressure on the ball of the foot while playing particular sports can also result in Morton’s neuroma

Jobs that require an individual to spend a lot of time on their feet, such as those in the construction and building trades, can often increase the chances of developing the condition.

How is Morton’s neuroma diagnosed?

Your Consultant will ask you about your symptoms and carry out a physical exam of your foot. Despite an X-ray not showing a neuroma, it can help to rule out stress fractures, arthritis or other possible causes of your foot pain. You may also be referred for an ultrasound, an MRI scan or an electromyography procedure (measures the electrical activity of your nerves and muscles).

What is the treatment for Morton’s neuroma?

Non-surgical interventions include resting and raising your foot when you can or holding an ice pack onto the painful area for 20 minutes every day.

For relief from Morton’s neuroma, it might help to try to lose weight, if you are overweight, change the type of shoes you wear - avoiding high-heeled and narrow shoes - or wearing gel pads in your shoe. Having a steroid injection may also be recommended.

If non-surgical recommendations have been unsuccessful, you may have to have neurectomy surgery for this condition.

What is neurectomy surgery?

A neurectomy is a surgical procedure which is used to treat Morton’s neuroma (a thickening of the metatarsal nerves in between your toes). This surgery removes part of the nerve tissue to relieve the painful symptoms.

What happens during a neurectomy?

A neurectomy is a surgical procedure where certain nerves are blocked or severed to relieve pain.

If you’re suffering from Morton’s neuroma, a neurectomy surgery will remove the affected nerve tissue. The aim is to permanently eliminate the pressure on your nerve which subsequently will reduce your symptoms.

During surgery, your anaesthetist may use a nerve block during surgery, which will keep your foot pain free for over 24 hours. This should help to manage the foot pain post-surgery.

How long does it take to recover from a neurectomy?

You will most likely need to stay in hospital for the day after your procedure. We’ll ensure your foot is elevated to minimise pain and swelling.

It is important to note that you won’t be able to drive until at least a month post-surgery and your consultant will advise you on when you can expect to resume normal activities including sports.

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Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate

Crispin Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate's specialities include foot and ankle conditions - covering sports injuries and more.

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