Morton's Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma is the swelling of nerves in the foot. Andrew Skyrme, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Horder Healthcare explains how it is caused, the symptoms and what can be done to relieve the pain.

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What is Morton’s Neuroma?

A Morton’s Neuroma is when a lump of nerve tissue that sits between the metatarsal heads (the bones in your foot between your toes) causes pain. It is described as a neuroma, which implies a benign nerve tumour. In reality, it is the swelling of a normal nerve between the metatarsals in the foot.

This nerve travels up the foot, where it divides and goes down each of your toes, supplying the toe with sensation and feeling.

The foot, particularly between the second and third, and third and fourth web spaces, is poorly designed and, as such, means those nerves can get pinched. As they get pinched, they become swollen and painful.

What does Morton’s Neuroma feel like?

The majority of people will experience:

  • Pain, numbness, pins and needles
  • The sensation of a shooting feeling between the toes
  • Feeling like you have a small stone under your foot
  • Aggravated pain when wearing enclosed footwear

What can you do for Morton’s Neuroma?

The general treatment for Morton’s Neuroma is to wear a wider fitting footwear.

However, Andrew explains that some patients can be helped by a simple orthotic insole to help offload pressure on the nerve.

If these measures do not have any effect, and you are still in pain, it is possible to inject the foot with a steroid. This can be carried out as an outpatient appointment without any form of anaesthetic, and will cure approximately 70% of cases.

Of the remaining 30%, excising or cutting out the nerve tumour is often the most sensible way forward. At Horder Healthcare, we can perform this as a day case operation with a few stitches. This will mean you will need to reduce your activity levels for approximately two to three weeks but should be able to get back on your feet shortly after.

Find out more about our variety of orthopaedic services at Horder Healthcare. If you’d like to discuss your requirements or book a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Page last reviewed on 19/12/2013