By Dr. Ken Lefkowitz
If you have toe cramping, sharp, shooting, or burning pain in the ball of your foot, or tingling in the space between your third and fourth toes, you may have a condition known as Morton’s Neuroma. This is an injury in the nerve between the toes (usually the third and fourth ones), which causes pain and thickening. This condition can make walking and any activities that put pressure on the foot extremely difficult. It may even become a challenge to press on the gas pedal to drive a car.
Morton’s neuroma is more common in women than in men, but the exact cause is unknown. Many experts believe contributing factors include: abnormal positioning of the toes, flat feet, high foot arches, bunions, hammertoes, and tight shoes and high heels.
A podiatrist can diagnose Morton’s neuroma by x-raying the foot to rule out bone problems and then possibly ordering an MRI or high-resolution ultrasound. Once you are diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, non-surgical treatment will be attempted first. These treatments may include: padding and taping the toe area, shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory medicines taken orally or injected into the foot, nerve blocking medicines injected into the toe area, or physical therapy. If none of these methods of treatment are successful, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected tissue. After surgery, numbness in the area will be permanent but shouldn’t be painful, and after a while it will become unnoticeable.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma or are in need of any form of foot and ankle care, call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment at our Doylestown office.