What is a neuroma?
A neuroma is a thickening or swelling of the nerve or soft tissue fibrosis/scarring that entraps the nerve. It can lead to burning, numbness or tingling sensations and permanent nerve damage. Neuromas often cause foot pain, primarily in the ball of the foot, between the third and forth toes (Morton’s Neuroma) or between the second and third toes. Neuromas seldom develop between the fourth and fifth toes or between the big and second toe. Although there are other causes of heel pain, it may also be caused by a neuroma.
Foot neuromas often occur as a result of injury, pressure or compression, stress to the foot or irritation. Those who suffer from flat foot, bunions, hammertoes or flexible flatfoot have a higher risk of developing a neuroma. Wearing high heels, participating in high-impact sports or wearing ill-fitting or tight footwear may put you at a higher risk of developing Morton’s Neuroma.
Symptoms, diagnosis and tests
Neuroma sufferers may experience a burning pain, tingling or numbness or feel as if they have something in their shoe. As there are a host of other foot conditions that produce similar symptoms, it’s important to visit your podiatrist. They will do a physical examination and take a detailed history of your condition. Your physician may also take an x-ray to rule out fractures and an ultrasound to pinpoint a neuroma or other soft tissue abnormality.
Treatment of neuromas
Conservative treatment of neuromas include oral anti-inflammatory medications such as as ibuprofen or aspirin or ice massages (which can help to reduce pain and swelling), the wearing of properly fitting shoes, rest or reduction of activities over a period of time, injection of steriods, Cryogenic Neuroablation (exposing the nerve to very cold temperatures) and the use of orthotics. If conservative treatments have not been successful, decompression surgery or under certain situations, to removal of the neuroma may be recommended.
If you suspect that you have a neuroma or are suffering with any kind of foot pain, problem or condition, schedule an examination online today with one of our Brooklyn foot specialists.