Morton's neuroma is a painful condition affecting the ball of the foot. It is a thickening or benign growth of the nerve in between the third and fourth metatarsal (knuckle) bones of the foot or bases of the third and fourth toes.
The condition was named after Dudley J. Morton, MD who wrote several papers and books about foot problems. His most well known book entitled, “The Human Foot,” was written in 1935. He theorized that a large number of foot problems were caused by poor distribution of weight bearing pressure across the ball of the foot or the metatarsal bones. Morton's neuroma is a painful enlargement of the nerve in between the bases of the third and fourth toes that appears to be due to long term excess pressure at the ball of the foot but the exact mechanism of how the growths form has not been proven to this day.
If you’re struggling with neuroma foot pain and are in need of effective, long-term relief, you deserve treatment from the best foot specialist San Antonio has to offer. If you’re ready to receive the next level of care, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Davis at South Texas Podiatry today.
Morton’s neuroma foot symptoms include a burning, numb or tingling pain that starts in the ball of the foot but may radiate to the 3rd and 4th toes or sometimes backward toward the arch. Some patients describe a sensation of a “pebble” in the shoe. Others relate a sensation of a rolled up sock under the ball of the foot.
Morton's neuroma treatment or treatment for intermetatarsal neuromas include:
Diagnosis of Morton's neuroma or other inter metatarsal neuromas is often initiated by taking the patient's history as the type of symptoms listed are fairly characteristic of the disorder. Radiographs may be used but do not show the neuroma, only bone and joint. Use of radiographs may be used to rule out other problems such as stress fractures. MRI may be used to visualize neuromas but often require injection of a contrast material around the neuroma. The most effective and practical means to examine a neuroma is via diagnostic ultrasound (sonography) as it clearly shows the growths, allowing measurement of neuroma size and shape in the office.
Causes of Morton's neuroma are unproven but tend to appear in patients who place excessive pressure on the lesser metatarsal heads, that is, excess pressure under the lesser toe joints as opposed to the big toe joint. Patients with arthritic big toe joints or big toe joints that may have been surgically fused place more pressure on the lessor toe joints and are more likely to have symptoms of Morton's neuroma.
High heels can make the pain of Morton's neuroma worse but do not cause the growth. Tight shoes can squeeze the bases of the toes together or squeeze the metatarsal heads together increasing the pain. Use of ill fitting shoes is common due to the lack of availability of adequate widths. Shoe manufacturers are under pressure to make shoes appear sleek which means excess tapering of the front of shoes.
Absolutely, and in fact, we recommend consulting Dr. Davis before you purchase inserts over the counter. Most store bought inserts or “orthotics” are essentially arch supports, which can actually aggravate the painful symptoms of Morton’s neuroma and create opportunities for patients to sprain an ankle as well.
If you are looking for the best podiatrist in San Antonio, Texas, you’ve come to the right place. Morton’s neuroma and other foot and ankle ailments shouldn’t put you on the sidelines. If you or a loved one are in need of a foot doctor, visit our office at , or call us at to get more information.