A neuroma is a ball of thickened nerve tissue that occurs in the digital nerves of the foot, often referred to as a benign nerve tumour. The most common neuroma occurs between the third and fourth toe and is known as Morton’s Neuroma. A neuroma is a painful condition and patients often experience shooting pain or numbness down to the affected toes.
The cause of neuroma is linked to several factors – biomechanical stress, trauma, and compression. These factors lead to irritation of the nerve tissues and result in swelling and inflammation of the nerve sheath.
Biomechanical stress – conditions leading to unstable foot joints during gait (e.g joint hypermobility or flat feet) causes the nerve to be “pinched”.
Trauma – single or repeated trauma to the digital nerve causes inflammation and swelling of the nerve.
Compression – tight-fitting shoes or high heels causes constant compression over the forefoot, resulting in the digital nerves being compressed and irritated over time.
Risk factors of a neuroma include:
Patients with neuroma will experience neurological pain symptoms, which are distinctive and easy to differentiate from other conditions.
Signs and symptoms of a neuroma include:
The treatment for neuroma involves reducing pain and inflammation of the nerve tissue and addressing the underlying factors leading to its development.
Treatment options for neuroma include:
In cases where the neuroma condition is more severe, the following options may be considered:
Non-invasive treatments should always be considered before seeking any invasive procedures. Your podiatrist will assess and guide you on the recommended treatment option.