What is a Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a thickening of the soft tissues surrounding a nerve that leads to the toes. The bursa, blood vessels and nerve can become stuck together as they pass under a ligament which connects two forefoot bones together. The nerve itself becomes abnormal. The most common site is between the 3rd and 4th toes followed by the 2nd and 3rd. It is up to 10 times more common in women than men. The exact cause is unknown but may be due to chronic pressure or irritation. Unfortunately no test, including ultrasound or MRI, is reliable in the diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma. The diagnosis comes from your symptoms and your doctors examination.

What are the Symptoms?

It may feel like you are walking on a marble under the ball of your foot. Burning pain may be felt in the ball of the foot and radiate into the toes. Pain is generally worse with activity or wearing shoes. There may be numbness in the toes.

What is the Treatment?

Different footwear, innersoles or pads (metatarsal dome) may help. A cortisone injection can provide lasting relief in some people. Radiofrequency ablation has been used for Morton’s neuroma.

Surgical excision of Morton’s neuroma is effective in the majority of patients who do not respond to other forms of treatment.