What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Mortons-NeuromaTypically characterised by a sharp, burning or cramp-like pain, usually (but not always) between the third and fourth toes, Morton’s Neuroma occurs when the nerve tissue between the toes becomes abnormally thick – sometimes thick enough to be felt with the fingers. While it mainly affects those between 40 and 60 years old, it is more common in women than in men and, although the pain is normally localised, it can radiate to the top of the foot and also into the calf muscles. Pain, though, isn’t the only symptom – the condition can also result in the sensation of pins and needles or a loss of feeling in the toes. Some patients report that they feel as though they are walking on pebbles


Causes of Morton’s Neuroma

It’s not fully understood what the exact cause of Morton’s Neuroma is, though current thinking is that pressure or irritation of the nerve leads to a thickening of the nerve tissue, which results in symptoms such as pain and pins and needles.

Common causes of Morton’s Neuroma are poorly fitted shoes, or footwear that is thin soled, high-heeled or too narrow. Flat feet can also be a cause of the condition, as can abnormalities of the foot such as bunions, hammer toes and high arches.

Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma

The main treatment for Morton’s Neuroma is merely to reduce the pressure on, and irritation of, the nerves between the toes. In many cases, this is as simple as ensuring footwear is properly fitted (not too tight or restricting).

Other options include orthotics to relieve the pressure on the nerve, and anti-inflammatory treatment, either taken orally or as a steroid injection. Surgical removal of the neuroma is used only when other treatments have proved ineffective.

How to Prevent Morton’s Neuroma

The most effective way to avoid Morton’s Neuroma is to ensure that footwear is always properly fitted – it should fit comfortably and have plenty of room in the toe region. High heels should be avoided.