Patients with Morton’s neuroma present with pain in the forefoot, particularly over the sole of the forefoot. However, not all pain in the forefoot is a Morton’s neuroma. In fact, most chronic pain in the forefoot is NOT the result of a Morton’s neuroma, but rather is from metatarsalgia – inflammation (synovitis) of the “toe/foot” joints.

The symptoms from Morton’s neuroma are due to irritation to the small digital nerves as they pass between the metatarsal heads into the toes. This explains why one of the symptoms is pain in adjacent toes. Because it is a sensory nerve that is affected, different nerve-type sensations can be felt by different people, including numbness, a burning sensation or a feeling that there is something unwanted in the shoe.

Most non-operative treatment is usually successful. Non-operative treatment may include:

    • Advise with regard to more appropriate footwear
    • A therapeutic exercise program targeted at strengthening the intrinsic muscles of your feet.
    • Local corticosteroid injections can help decrease inflammation associated with the nerve. However, this does not necessarily address the underlying loading forces that maybe causing the injury to the nerve in the first place.
    • A period of activity modificationmay also be required For example, avoiding long periods of standing or other activities that result in significant repetitive loading to the forefoot can be very helpful. Wearing high heels should be avoided.

Operative Treatement

In a small percentage of patients, non-operative treatment will fail. At podiatry clinics we have a sound knowledge of available surgical techniques and sound working relationship with all local foot surgeons. So if the need arises we can direct you to the most appropriate surgical specialist.