Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that occurs when a nerve in your foot becomes thickened or irritated. It causes pain or numbness in and around the ball of the foot and some people I talk to say it feels like they have a small stone in their shoe (as you can imagine, this can get pretty annoying after a short time, especially as you can't just take your shoe off and shake the stone out). Over time, these symptoms may get worse, with a sharp, shooting pain around the ball of the foot.
Fortunately, it is usually fairly straightforward for me to confirm a diagnosis of Morton's neuroma when you see me. I will talk with you about your symptoms and carry out an examination. The 'classic' test is for me to squeeze your forefoot. If you do have a neuroma, this squeezing will increase the pressure on it, causing you some pain.
If there is any doubt about the diagnosis, I will arrange an ultrasound or MRI scan to help clarify things, and these can both be carried out at Circle. The key thing to point out is that diagnosis isn't a long, drawn out process; it is normally very quick, meaning we can start treating you and getting you out of pain quickly.
If you are diagnosed with Morton's neuroma, there are some good treatments available to help get you out of pain and back to being able to do the things you love.
These treatments fall into two categories; non-surgical (known as 'conservative') and surgical. In nearly all cases, I will always start with conservative treatment. Surgery may be advised when conservative treatments aren't working as well as expected.
Wearing shoes that are slightly wider than normal can help relieve symptoms. You can also buy special foot pads to put inside your shoe that can help reduce the pressure on the nerve.
I may recommend a corticosteroid injection into the painful area of your foot. This has both pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties and is usually very good at taking away pain fast. It can be a good way of getting you out of pain quickly without the need for surgery.
If your symptoms are more severe and these treatments aren't giving you the relief I would expect, I will talk with you about surgery to remove the painful neuroma. I will explain how the operation will be done and what you should expect you recovery to be like. As with any surgery, you should be aware of all the facts about it before making a decision to go ahead with it or not. The decision to have surgery is always yours to make, I will help ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Your consultation with me is also a very good time to ask me any questions you have about treatment options, or to talk through any concerns with me. I am always very happy to help.
Morton's neuroma can be a very painful condition to have. When the pain is mild or intermittent at the early stages, it can be easy to ignore. As the neuroma becomes more painful, it is definitely worth getting expert medical advice.
If you're at the stage of looking for help, it is very easy to arrange to see me at Circle. My private secretary will be delighted to schedule a time that's convenient for you. When we meet, I'll talk about your symptoms with you and examine your foot. Once we know exactly what is causing your pain, I'll talk with you about the most suitable treatment options, so that you can decide what would be best for you.
I will help get you out of pain so that you can get back to your normal activities again as soon as possible.