Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
What is Morton’s neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma is defined as a benign tumor consisting of a cluster of more or less abnormal fibers around nerve tissue that makes it thicker. This swelling of the nerve, very often located between the third and fourth toe, is very painful.
The cause of Morton’s disease, another name for this condition, seems difficult to identify in a clear manner. The hypothesis of a tightening of the bones on either side of a nerve that would create a blockage on the nerve and lead to its inflammation and thickening is to be considered. Foot injuries also provide fertile ground for the development of this type of inflammation. In addition, certain factor elements stand out more than others, such as wearing shoes that are too narrow. This reinforces the idea that shoes adapted to our feet are essential to our biomechanical balance, as the opposite is often associated with foot problems. An example of this is plantar fasciitis.
Fortunately, non-surgical solutions exist to treat Morton’s syndrome. A conservative treatment is usually enough to abandon the surgical option. Our podriatrist doctor, in this case, has a very interesting success rate with this type of treatment. Obviously, the earlier the treatment begins, the greater the chances of success. A consultation at the onset of symptoms always allows for better control of the situation.
Different methods have proven themselves: orthotics; local corticosteroid injections, neurolysis and, of course, the adoption of wider shoes.
Nevertheless, surgery is still a last resort to remove the plantar neuroma.
Morton’s Neuroma Symptom
As mentioned above, without knowing the exact cause, the symptoms are revealed by an intense pain in the forefoot, between the toes. Vivid and persistent burning sensations, numbness due to nerve compression, even spreading to the entire foot, describe the symptoms fairly well.
For the person who feels pain in the toes or who has pain in the feet, it is difficult to attribute the cause to a pinched nerve in the forefoot or even simply to a nerve in the foot.
As with some other conditions in this part of the body, there are factors that predispose us to the development of Morton’s Neuroma. The flat foot is one of them, but also hammer toes, bunions, etc.
Types of treatments for Morton’s Neuroma
Knowing how to treat Morton’s neuroma is the responsibility of a foot care professional. To do so, a diagnosis must first be established. At our Montreal Podiatric Clinic palpates your foot between the metatarsals to detect signs of neuroma. This step provides him with information about possible complementary examinations. An ultrasound scan may be necessary to better identify the fibrous mass, its shape, etc. Finally, an x-ray allows for the detection of other foot abnormalities related or not to Morton’s syndrome. In the end, the best way to really know where your foot pain really comes from is to make an appointment with your Podiatrist.
Morton’s neuroma: natural treatment
First of all, the best natural treatment to correct or reduce a Morton’s neuroma is to wear good shoes, adapted to the width of your feet, especially the tips of your feet. Wearing proper footwear for activities such as walking and snowshoeing is important to relieve pain and avoid making the situation worse.
Physical therapy, including massage, can help relieve pain when daily activities have overworked your feet. In this case, the goal is to actually take away the pain without actually acting on the cause.
Foot orthotics provide relief in a majority of patients with this foot condition. It reduces, among other things, the pressure exerted on the nerve and the tension in the tip of the foot. Different types of orthoses can be effective depending on the curvature of the foot and the position of each person’s toes.
The analysis of your gait, the fit of your toes… all this is important in order to properly mold your foot for a custom-made orthosis. Some studies even show that treatment combining the wearing of an orthosis with steroid injections would increase the chances of obtaining very satisfactory relief without the need for surgery.
Morton’s Neuroma Surgery
Surgery is considered when all other more conservative options have been tried and have not produced the desired results, i.e. pain relief or regression of the neuroma. Surgery may also be considered if the other corrective measures are deemed insufficient based on the condition of the person’s foot or the excessive restrictions in daily activities that they entail.
The operation to remove the neuroma is usually performed under local anesthesia. This procedure allows the compressed area to relax. According to some studies, this procedure is considered necessary in 40% of cases, but patients who undergo it are quite satisfied with it. A significant reduction in pain is attested to by the people concerned.
Convalescence generally takes a few weeks, sometimes a few months, for a full recovery. Obviously, the situation differs from one Patient to another.
Depending on the severity of each case and the patient’s lifestyle, the full resumption of activities may vary considerably. Sometimes, foot surgery may involve the use of crutches for a short period of time.
Those who participate in demanding sports activities will have to be patient before resuming certain sports that are more demanding on the feet.
In any case, it goes without saying that discussing your situation with your Podiatrist can only help you make the best decision.
In short, whether you have doubts about foot pain or seriously suspect a Morton’s neuroma, a consultation with a foot health professional will reassure you and guide you in the best treatment.2021