Morton's Neuroma

Also known as interdigital neuroma, Morton's neuroma is characterized by having a "walking on a marble" feeling accompanied by persistent pain in the ball of your foot (forefoot). Morton's neuroma is the thickening of the tissue surrounding the digital nerve leading to the toes, which can lead to pain or discomfort in the forefoot and affect a person's ability to perform certain tasks. Other common symptoms include:

  • Persistent burning or sharp pain in the ball of the foot that may spread out into the toes while walking, running or doing other weight-bearing activities
  • Pain typically between the base of the third and fourth toes that may also occur between the second and third toes
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • Pain aggravated by wearing tight, narrow shoes which compress the toe bones and pinches the nerve

Initial treatment of Morton's neuroma involves conservative methods, such as:

  • Avoiding high heels and tight, narrow shoes and wearing custom shoe inserts and metatarsal pads/bars instead can help reduce the pressure on the neuroma
  • Injecting corticosteroid medications to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerve for pain relief. Another option is nerve ablation, which involves injecting a medicine that permanently stops the nerve from sending pain signals
  • Using alternative therapies, such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy, radiofrequency ablation and other non-steroid injections

Surgery is recommended if symptoms do not improve or come back despite nonsurgical treatments to remove the diseased portion of the nerve or release the tissue around the nerve.