What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Today, I would like to talk about Morton’s Neuroma, which is a quite commonly heard of problem. The neuroma is a tumour within a nerve. A Morton’s Neuroma is actually a fibrous thickening that occurs in and through the nerves in the forefoot, and usually it is more to do with the compression on the metatarsals.
So, as the metatarsals are squeezed together, it squeezes on this thickening around the nerve and this then radiates pain to the forefoot and the toes. As you would expect, there is a very neural origin to the pain so it will be experienced in a number of ways:
- Burning pain
- Neuralgia (severe burning pain)
- Shooting Pain
- Sharp pain
There can also be a bit of a lump.
How is it diagnosed?
One of the diagnostic things we can do is to assess the metatarsals and squeeze them together. You may hear a loud click, which is known as a “ Mulder’s Click” when you do the assessment.
These neuromas have a prevalence of around 30%, which is reasonably high, and are four times more common in women than men. It is believed that this is due to the different footwear worn by the two sexes.
H2 Where is the Morton’s Neuroma?
The most common area for the neuroma is around the third and fourth metatarsals, so slightly towards the outside of the foot. These are really best treated with an accurate diagnosis.
In our clinic, we do tend to get a lot of diagnoses of Morton’s Neuroma from external referrals. However, this part of the foot is very complex, so it is very easy to misdiagnose. Your absolute first step must be to get a correct diagnosis.
How do we treat it?
There are a number of different treatments for Morton’s Neuroma. The first stage is normally to address the footwear. So, if your shoes are not wide enough, they are going to squeeze the fore foot and that is going to increase your pain. The same principle applies if the heel of the shoe is too high, this will force the foot down to the front of the shoe and that will also cause pain.
Sometimes, we can use a little pad to decompress the area, or we can use injections to try and thin down the fibrous thickening causing the pain. In some cases, they can be surgically removed. There is always a solution to these problems so if you are struggling with this condition, please do come and see us in clinic!
At Waikato Podiatry Clinic we have the team and the equipment required to perform a thorough foot and lower limb assessment. If you have any questions or currently have Foot Pain and would like to make an appointment for any assessment, please phone our clinic on 07-838-0003 or fill in the email enquiry box below and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.