Neuroma, also known as Morton’s Neuroma, is a persistent pain in the ball of the foot. While a neuroma is a benign tumor on a nerve, Morton’s Neuroma is not a tumor, but the thickening of the tissue around the nerve that leads to the toes. It usually develops between the third and fourth toes of the foot in response to pressure on the foot. Morton’s Neuroma causes a burning pain that may radiate into the toes.
Noninvasive therapies are usually attempted before resorting to surgery. Studies have shown that wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes, taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and receiving regular cortisone injections delivered by a skilled podiatrist relieve Morton’s neuroma in 80% of patients. Patients whose neuroma does not respond to noninvasive treatments may require surgery where a small part of the nerve is removed or the tissue around the nerve is released. Dr. Jonathan Thurm specialized in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) that results in smaller incisions and less pain and recovery time.
The steps patients should take to prevent a neuroma from returning resemble the steps a patient should take to prevent a neuroma from happening in the first place. It is essential that the person wear comfortable shoes. High heels put undue pressure on the balls of the feet, increasing the likelihood of developing a neuroma. Tight, restrictive shoes should be set aside in favor of properly fitting, soft-soled shoes with a wider toe box. If Dr. Thurm has prescribed custom molded foot inserts, it is important to wear them as directed. Orthotics, especially custom-fit inserts, support the foot in the shoe as well as reducing the pressure put on the foot when the wearer walks, runs, stands, or jumps.