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Morton's Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition that feels as a person is standing with a pebble in their shoe or that their sock has a wrinkle in it and they’re standing directly on it. The pain is described as burning or tingling and can radiate up through the toes with a tingling sensation. The condition affects the ball of the foot, most commonly between the third and fourth toes, and feels as if there is a lump formed between the toes, although there are no outward signs of a lump or any other type of deformity.

Morton’s Neuroma occurs when the tissues around one of the nerves leading to the toes become thick and place pressure on the nerve. This causes a burning sensation in the ball of the foot and out through the toes. The thickened tissue is what makes it feel as if you’re standing on a pebble or that there is a foreign object of some sort in the bottom of your shoe. While the symptoms are mild in the beginning, it can become quite painful and begin to interfere with a person’s ability to walk normally and engage in everyday activities.

Morton’s Neuroma is a fairly common condition, occurring in more than 200,000 patients each year in the US. While all of the causes are unknown, the condition has been linked to shoe wear. High heeled shoes and shoes with a narrow toe box are most often to blame. Switching to lower heeled shoes that provide more space through the toes can often provide relief to sufferers. Other therapies such as acoustic wave therapy, low-level laser therapy, corticosteroidal injections, physical therapy, and orthotic inserts are often used to treat the painful symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma.

Surgical treatment is not often required to treat Morton’s Neuroma. However, in rare cases when other therapies have failed to provide relief, physicians may recommend surgery to remove the nerve that is causing the pain. This approach is used with caution due to the risk of permanent numbness in the foot after surgery.

Morton’s Neuroma Symptoms

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma include pain, a burning sensation, tingling or numbness that radiates from the ball of the foot through the toes, and feeling as though you’re standing on a pebble that you can’t get rid of. There is typically no outward symptoms to point to, such as a lump on the bottom of your foot, though it may feel that way.

If you experience pain in your feet that doesn’t subside within a few days with rest and a change of shoe-wear, you should see a podiatrist rule out any serious conditions.

Morton’s Neuroma Diagnosis

Dr. Jeffery Kleis, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist, centrally located in Costa Mesa and serving all of Orange County and Southern California. Dr. Kleis has more than 25 years of experience treating all manner of foot and ankle disorders. He stays on the cutting edge of treatments and technology for podiatry, leading the field in the use of laser technology and acoustic-wave therapies.

To diagnose Morton’s Neuroma, Dr. Kleis will perform a complete examination, including a complete medical history. X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be required to rule out other causes for pain or to identify contributing conditions.

Once Morton’s Neuroma has been diagnosed, Dr. Kelis will recommend a course of treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms and healing the causes of your pain. Treatments may include injections, laser or acoustic-wave therapies, special exercises, or orthotic inserts. If these therapies fail to provide complete relief, Dr. Kleis may recommend surgery to lessen the pressure on the nerve or remove the nerve entirely.

Call (714) 760-4944 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis regarding your Morton’s Neuroma symptoms and get on the path to relief today! You can also book an appointment online.

Causes of Morton’s Neuroma

The most common cause of Morton’s Neuroma is thickened tissues placing pressure on the nerve or nerves leading to the toes. Thickened tissue surrounding the nerves can cause the pain without any other factors, but the thickening is often brought on by the types of shoe being worn or by unusual foot formations.

High-heels are a common cause of increased pressure on the ball of the foot. Other types of shoes with a narrow toe box can also put too much pressure on the ball of the foot, causing the tissues around the nerves to become irritated and inflamed.

Unusual foot formations have also been thought to cause Morton’s Neuroma. Individuals with high arches or flat feet are at an increased risk for developing Morton’s Neuroma. The presence of bunions or hammertoes also increases the risk of Morton’s Neuroma.

As the thickening tissue puts increased pressure on the nerves, the patient will begin to feel as if there’s something in the bottom of their shoe, or as if their sock has wrinkled and they just can’t straighten it out. Then, a burning or tingling sensation will begin to spread up into the toes. Often, the sensation of having something in the shoe will cause a person to alter their walking gait, turning their foot to the outside to avoid stepping directly on the ball of the foot. This can cause additional issues in the ankle or knee.

If you experience pain in your feet that doesn’t subside within a few days with rest and a change of shoe-wear, you should see a podiatrist to rule out any serious conditions.

To diagnose Morton’s Neuroma, Dr. Kleis will perform a complete examination, including a complete medical history. X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be required to rule out other causes for pain or to identify contributing conditions.

Once Morton’s Neuroma has been diagnosed, Dr. Kelis will recommend a course of treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms and healing the causes of your pain. Treatments may include injections, laser or acoustic-wave therapies, special exercises, or orthotic inserts. If these therapies fail to provide complete relief, Dr. Kleis may recommend surgery to lessen the pressure on the nerve or remove the nerve entirely.

Call (714) 760-4944 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis regarding your Morton’s Neuroma symptoms and get on the path to relief today! You can also book an appointment online.

Morton’s Neuroma Treatment

Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma may range from a simple change of shoe-wear to surgery and may include:

  • Rest – For very active people, such as runners and sports enthusiasts, a break from normal activities may be required to allow the foot time to recover.
  • Ice Massage – Freezing water in cup allows you to roll the foot over the ice or the ice over the foot, relieving inflammation and reducing pain.
  • Shoe Change – Avoiding high heels and shoes that are narrow through the toe box can help relieve pressure on the ball of the foot and allow the nerves to heal.
  • Oral Medications – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation surrounding the nerves, providing an opportunity for the nerves to heal.
  • Injections – Cortocosteroidal injections may help relieve the pain of Morton’s Neuroma.
  • Special Shoes – Certain shoes can relieve the pressure on the ball of the foot, allowing the nerves to heal.
  • Orthotic Inserts – Arch supports and foot pads may provide some relief from Morton’s Neuroma. In certain cases, a completely custom fit insert may be required.
  • Laser or Acoustic-wave Therapies – Low-level laser and acoustic wave therapies have proven helpful in stimulating healing in damaged tissues and nerves.
  • Decompression Surgery – If other therapies fail to provide relief, Dr. Kleis may recommend surgery to alter the structure of the foot and relieve pressure on the nerves.
  • Nerve Removal Surgery – As a last resort, surgical removal of the nerve may be required to provide relief. This approach is used with caution as it runs the risk of permanent numbness in the foot and toes.

Morton’s Neuroma Treatment at Home

Many of the treatments for Morton’s Neuroma can be practiced at home.

  • Rest – For very active people, such as runners and sports enthusiasts, a break from normal activities may be required to allow the foot time to recover.
  • Ice Massage – Freezing water in cup allows you to roll the foot over the ice or the ice over the foot, relieving inflammation and reducing pain.
  • Shoe Change – Avoiding high heels and shoes that are narrow through the toe box can help relieve pressure on the ball of the foot and allow the nerves to heal.
  • Oral Medications – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation surrounding the nerves, providing an opportunity for the nerves to heal.

If these approaches fail to provide relief, or if the pain worsens, you should consult a podiatrist. Dr. Jeffery Kleis, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist, centrally located in Costa Mesa and serving all of Orange County and Southern California. Dr. Kleis has more than 25 years of experience treating all manner of foot and ankle disorders. He stays on the cutting edge of treatments and technology for podiatry, leading the field in the use of laser technology and acoustic-wave therapies.

To diagnose Morton’s Neuroma, Dr. Kleis will perform a complete examination, including a complete medical history. X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be required to rule out other causes for pain or to identify contributing conditions.

Once Morton’s Neuroma has been diagnosed, Dr. Kelis will recommend a course of treatment aimed at relieving the symptoms and healing the causes of your pain. Treatments may include injections, laser or acoustic-wave therapies, special exercises, or orthotic inserts. If these therapies fail to provide complete relief, Dr. Kleis may recommend surgery to lessen the pressure on the nerve or remove the nerve entirely.

Call (714) 760-4944 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis regarding your Morton’s Neuroma symptoms and get on the path to relief today! You can also book an appointment online.

Morton’s Neuroma Surgery

When more conservative approaches fail to give full relief, surgery may be required. There are two types of surgery used to treat Morton’s Neuroma, decompression surgery, and nerve removal.

  • Decompression Surgery – If other therapies fail to provide relief, Dr. Kleis may recommend surgery to alter the structure of the foot and relieve pressure on the nerves.
  • Nerve Removal Surgery – As a last resort, surgical removal of the nerve may be required to provide relief. This approach is used with caution as it runs the risk of permanent numbness in the foot and toes.

Dr. Kleis saves surgery as a last resort for treating Morton’s Neuroma and has a variety of very effective and less-invasive therapies to try before recommending surgery.

Call (714) 760-4944 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis regarding your Morton’s Neuroma symptoms and get on the path to relief today! You can also book an appointment online.

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