Morton's neuroma is a benign but painful condition that affects the ball of the foot. It's also called an intermetatarsal neuroma because it's located in the ball of the foot between your metatarsal bones. This occurs when the tissue around a nerve that leads to a toe thickens from irritation or compression.
Morton’s neuroma is often caused by shoes that are too tight or that have high heels. Ill-fitted footwear can compress or irritate the nerves in your foot. The irritated nerve thickens and gradually becomes more painful because of the pressure on it. Another possible cause is a foot or gait abnormality, which can lead to instability and can also put pressure on a nerve in your foot. Morton's neuroma is commonly associated with:
It’s also associated with activities such as:
Pain is the most common symptom of Morton's neuroma. It may feel like a burning pain in the ball or your foot; like you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe or wearing a bunched-up sock. Your toes may feel numb or tingle as the pain radiates outward. People affected with Morton’s neuroma might experience difficulty walking because of pain, despite any noticeable swelling or any lack of symptoms period.
Surgery for neuroma most often involves removing the affected nerve in the ball of the foot through an incision made on the top of the foot. The nerve must be removed far enough back so that it doesn’t continue to become impinged at the ball of the foot.
Recovery after Morton’s neuroma (neurectomy) surgery is possible within a time frame of two to six weeks after the surgery, with possibility of wearing post-surgical footwear.