Morton’s Neuroma is a trapped nerve that often affects the third and fourth toes and leads to a sharp stabbing pain between the long bones of the front of your foot and numbness around the ball of the foot that can extend into the toes. This condition is common in people who have a lot of mobility in their toes or in people who wear very tight shoes. Wearing high heels can also exacerbate the condition. With the colder weather we find that patients often come to see us as they have been wearing enclosed shoes due to winter.
If you think that you might be suffering from this condition then there are a few things you can try at home first:
- Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight across the toes
- Reduce the height of heels (e.g. in high heel shoes)
- Address excessive pronation, if present, by changing shoe types. Excessive pronation or rolling of the foot (see picture) can place more strain on the forefoot exacerbating the risk of Morton’s neuroma.
If your symptoms persist then it is time to seek professional help from your podiatrist.
After assessment and diagnosis (including an MRI if required) there are several treatment options available and usually involves off loading or cushioning the ball of the foot, addressing the excessive movement in the foot that can be the cause of the problem and looking at how you foot moves inside your shoes.
These changes can be made through placement of padding, an orthotic or a different shoe style. Additionally you may require in shoe pressure measurement to determine exactly how you use your foot under different situations.
If your symptoms are bad cortisone injections or surgery to remove the painful nerve can be undertaken with a high success rate.
• If you have diabetes or are high risk, any potential pressure area should be assessed by your podiatrist to prevent wound formation.
• If the condition does not improve, see your podiatrist.
If you would like to discuss this condition further, call Podiatry Point on phone number 4646 2016.