A neuroma is a painful condition that occurs when there is a benign growth of nerve tissue most frequently between the third and fourth toes of the foot.
- Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma.
- Wearing shoes that forces the toes to be squeezed into the toe box.
- Repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot
- Certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flatfeet
- Tingling, burning, or numbness
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A feeling that there’s something in the shoe or a sock is bunched up
Diagnosis can be made with the aid of a podiatric examination, MRI, and ultrasound studies.
Non-surgical Treatment for neuromas may include:
- Padding. Padding techniques provide support for the metatarsal arch, thereby lessening the pressure on the nerve and decreasing the compression when walking.
- Icing. Placing an icepack on the affected area helps reduce swelling.
- Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices provide the support needed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve.
- Activity modifications. Activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma should be avoided until the condition improves.
- Shoe modifications. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid narrow-toed shoes or shoes with high heels.
- Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Injection therapy. Treatment may include injections of cortisone, local anesthetics or other agents. Such as agents to inactivate the involved nerve
When non surgical treatments fail surgical removal of the inflamed and enlarged nerve may be indicated.