Neuroma

A neuroma is a swelling and thickening of nerve tissue that can result from irritation and compression of the nerve as well as injury to the nerve. In the feet, it typically occurs in the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes and is known as Morton’s neuroma. Wearing high-heels or other footwear that pushes the toes into the shoe’s toe box, along with repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot from running and court sports, frequently contributes to neuroma development. People with bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet are at higher risk for neuromas.

Symptoms

  • Sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot
  • Tingling, burning or numbness in the toes
  • A feeling that you’re standing on a pebble

Treatment

  • Wearing flatter shoes with extra depth and a broad toe box
  • Using arch supports or foot pads
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice massage
  • Rest from high-impact activities
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Cryogenic neuroablation (exposes the nerve to very cold temperatures to temporarily stop the pain)
  • Surgery (decompression surgery, nerve removal)