A Morton’s neuroma is a condition which causes a burning, numbness and tingling sensation at the front of your foot. The most common area for the symptoms to occur is between the 3rd and 4th toes. It can feel like a sock is clumped underneath your foot or like you are standing on a pebble.
A Morton’s neuroma is the inflammation and thickening of the nerve around the metatarsal phalangeal joints causing altered sensations to shoot through the foot. It often feels like a sharp, burning sensation but may also sting and feel numb.
- Sharp, Burning, tingling, numbness sensation
- Usually sensation is felt between 2 toes, usually between 3rd and 4th toes (however, it can occur in-between the 4th and 5th toes, and less commonly 1st and 2nd toes)
- Discomfort usually occurs when walking or standing
- Usually caused by tight footwear (high heels, dress shoes) with a narrow toe box
There is an association with Morton’s Neuroma and tight footwear where the toe box is too tight. It is thought that tight footwear can irritate the nerves and cause inflammation and thickening of the nerve.
Foot Deformities – Bunions, claw toes, flat feet, high arched feet and extra wide feet are more prone to developing Morton’s Neuroma.
High Heels – The narrow toe box of high heeled shoes can cause the joints to compress and irritate the nerves in the foot. Lack of movement when your foot is in the high heels can also attribute to the formation of a Morton’s Neuroma.
Tight footwear– Shoes that are tight in the toe box (commonly in flat casual shoes) can also irritate the nerves and cause a formation of a Morton’s neuroma. If you spend long hours in shoes throughout the day, you must make sure the toe box is wide enough for your foot.
Sports – Certain activities which are high impact such a running and jogging can cause your toes and joints to rub together inflaming the nerve. Footwear in sports can also irritate the nerve such as ski boots and rock climbing shoes.
Initially conservative treatment will be looked at in alleviating the symptoms.
Changing Footwear – Abstaining from tight footwear and high heels will give inflamed nerves time to heal. The more time you spend in tight footwear, the more trauma the foot will endure prolonging the symptoms. By allowing the bones in the foot to spread out, the less inflammation there is of the nerve.
Orthotics – Custom orthotics will offload and separate the joints, “releasing” the pressure on the impinged nerve. Specific pads can be incorporated into the custom orthotic to redirect the pressure of the joints.
Injections – Cortisone injection is a possible type of therapy to relieve the symptoms of a Morton’s Neuroma. Cortisone acts as an anti-inflammatory and will reduce prevent the pain from occurring while you change your footwear to let the Morton’s neuroma heal. Another treatment for Morton’s neuroma is a series of sclerosing injections to “kill” the nerve and prevent pain.
Surgery – In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the enlarged and inflamed nerve.
Studies have shown that using a combination of wide shoes, custom orthotics, oral anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections resolves 80% of all Morton’s Neuroma cases.
What We Will Do
On your initial visit, we will assess your pain and discomfort. Certain diagnostics tests can be performed to determine if you do indeed have a Morton’s neuroma. Range of motion tests can be also performed to rule out arthritis or any bony involvement resulting in pain (unrelated to Morton’s neuroma).
If you suspect you have a Morton’s Neuroma, it is vital for you to book an appointment as soon as possible for us to assess and treat the issue to avoid the need for surgery!
Please feel free to book your appointment at our Whitby office, or Toronto Office. Now serving- Bowmanville, Courtice, Oshawa, Whitby, Brooklin, Ajax, Durham, Pickering, Scarborough, Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Markham, Thornhill.