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Will Morton’s Neuroma Resolve on Its Own?

 Will Morton’s Neuroma Resolve on Its Own?

Pain is a warning signal to your brain that some part of your body is either diseased or injured and needs help. If you experience pain in the ball of your foot and between your third and fourth toes, you shouldn’t ignore it. It might be a sign of a problem with the structure of your foot, commonly known as Morton’s neuroma.

At All Care Foot & Ankle Center, our team of expert podiatrists diagnose and treat Morton’s neuroma at our Arlington and Dallas, Texas, offices. We get asked a lot if the neuroma will resolve on its own. Generally, the answer is no, but we have a number of conservative treatment options that can relieve your pain. 

Here’s what you need to know about the condition.

What is Morton’s neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a podiatric condition that affects the ball of your foot, the region located between the long metatarsals (foot bones) and the phalanges (toe bones). If the nerve running between the bones becomes inflamed, you feel the pain on the bottom of your foot between the third and fourth toes. The pain from the inflammation can make it difficult to walk comfortably.

The most common cause of Morton’s neuroma is wearing the wrong type of shoes — specifically high heels with a narrow toe box. The shoe exerts pressure on the toes because there isn’t enough room, and the unnatural angle of the foot compresses the nerve, leading to inflammation and irritation.

Calling the condition a “neuroma” is actually misleading because neuromas are noncancerous tumors that form when extra nerve tissue grows on nerves throughout the body. In the case of Morton’s neuroma, though, there’s no extra tissue and no tumor. It’s the tissue that normally surrounds the nerve that becomes inflamed and grows.

Morton’s neuroma is fairly common, with about 1 in 3 people affected. Women, though, are 8-10 times more likely to develop it than men. That’s mostly because they’re more likely to wear high heels and other constricting shoes.

Morton’s neuroma symptoms

Looking at your foot, there are no visible signs of the neuroma — no tumor, lump, or growth. There may, however, be some swelling between the third and fourth (or occasionally the second and third) toes. 

You’re also likely to feel some pain in the ball of your foot. It usually starts slowly, so if you’re in the early stages, simply massaging your foot may alleviate it.

Neuroma symptoms include:

Symptoms generally worsen over time, which is why you should get treatment as soon as possible.

Will Morton’s neuroma resolve on its own?

As we’ve indicated above, Morton’s neuroma doesn’t resolve on its own; however, there are a number of treatments that can relieve the symptoms, so coming into All Care Foot & Ankle Center can help you address the issue effectively.

Our team usually diagnoses Morton’s neuroma based on your symptoms, a physical exam, and imaging tests. X-rays can’t show the neuroma, but they can help rule out other possible causes (e.g., stress fracture or arthritis). An ultrasound or an MRI scan can confirm the diagnosis.

The doctor may also perform an electromyography (EMG), a test that measures the electrical activity of nerves and muscles. Like an X-ray, it’s a test that rules out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms to a neuroma.

Once we confirm the diagnosis, our team draws up a treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and the specifics of the affected nerve’s structure. If the neuroma is in its early stages, conservative options usually do the trick:

Orthotics are another common, completely noninvasive option to alleviate your symptoms. They’re customized shoe inserts that provide cushioning and support that help take the pressure off the painful nerve. Metatarsal pads can also offload the stress.

Our team only recommends surgery If all conservative options have failed. The most common procedure performed is a neurectomy, where he removes the overgrowth of the nerve tissue. Or he may choose radiofrequency ablation. In this treatment, he heats and deactivates the nerve, thereby alleviating the pain.

If you’re struggling with pain in the ball of your foot, you need treatment, and All Care Foot & Ankle Center, can help. To get started, book a consultation online today.

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