Morton's neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a condition that affects one of the digital nerves that run between the bones of the foot where thickening and swelling develop off and around the nerve.

I have a question about Morton's neuroma

What is Morton’s neuroma?

Morton's neuroma affects the area between the ball of the foot and the base of the toes. Normally it occurs between the third and fourth toes.

It happens when one of the digital nerves that run between the bones of your foot becomes irritated or damaged.

What causes Morton’s neuroma?

It’s thought that Morton’s neuroma is caused when the bones of the foot start to press against the nerve. This leads to a thickening of the surrounding tissue which exerts pressure on the nerve and irritates it.

Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma in your foot can be made worse by running and playing sport or wearing poorly fitting footwear. Other foot problems may also worsen the condition, including:

  • Toes positioned abnormally
  • High arches
  • Flat feet
  • Bunions
  • Hammer toe

What are the symptoms of Morton's neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma symptoms may appear and disappear over time, and can include:

  • Feeling like you have a stone in your shoe
  • Sharp or burning pain in the ball of your foot (especially when walking)
  • Tingling, numbness or burning sensation in the area

Wearing shoes that put pressure on your third and fourth toe may also aggravate symptoms.

How is Morton's neuroma diagnosed?

Your GP will usually be able to diagnose Morton’s neuroma in your foot after a quick examination and can refer you to our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons for further treatment if you need it.

What is Morton’s neuroma treatment?

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 surgery for this condition.

What happens during surgery for Morton's neuroma?

During surgery for Morton's neuroma, a small incision is made between the affected toes and the nerve is resected. This is a day case procedure and you will be at the hospital for between four and seven hours.

What should I expect after treatment for Morton's neuroma?

On returning from theatre your foot will be elevated to reduce swelling and pain. After surgery your foot will be bandaged and full weight bearing is allowed directly after the operation and no crutches are needed. Most people can drive within a week.

You should remove the bandage three days after your operation. The skin incision will have been stitched so the incision should be protected by a waterproof plaster when having a shower.

The practice nurse at your surgery will remove the stitches two weeks after the operation.

Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate

Crispin Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate's specialties include knee surgery, hip revision surgery, hip surgery and sports injuries.

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