Morton’s Neuroma: What It Is and How to Treat It

“Morton’s neuroma” – it sounds a little other-worldly, like a new series on the Syfy Channel or a Star Trek movie. “Captain, we’re being hailed by an enemy vessel – Morton’s Neuroma invading, portside!” Well, no need to take battle stations if we tell you that you’ve got it. Morton’s neuroma is a thickening of nerves in the ball of your foot – usually between the third and fourth toes. You can take steps to prevent it, and we have a number of non-invasive ways to treat it here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, VA.

What does it feel like?

Morton’s neuroma has been called “The Standing on a Pebble Disorder” because you might feel like you’re walking around with a pebble stuck in the ball of your foot. Sharp pain, especially when you walk, and a burning sensation are the classic signs of Morton’s neuroma.

Who’s at risk?

  • Athletes: those who engage in repetitive actions such as running, jumping
  • Women who wear high heels: High heels put pressure on the ball of your foot
  • Women runners: the combination of wearing heels and running make an especially high-risk group
  • Anyone who continually wears shoes that are too tight
  • People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes,or high/low arches.

Treatment options

Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, has many years of experience treating neuromas. After diagnosing a neuroma through careful examination of your foot, Dr. Wilhelm may recommend

  • medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • icing the affected area
  • corticosteroid injections
  • special padding that separates toes and reduces pressure on the affected nerve
  • custom shoe inserts (orthotics) to relieve pressure
  • a change in activity and/or footwear.

Most people will respond to these non-invasive treatments. Neuroma surgery may be necessary for others. Allow Dr. Wilhelm to determine the best course of treatment for you. Call our office at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online if you suspect you have Morton’s neuroma, or whenever you have pain or injury to your foot.

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