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 Foot NeuromaWhen people hear the word “neuroma”, they may think it has to do with the brain, since it’s close to “neural”, which does deal with one’s grey matter. No, it actually has to do with one’s feet. It’s a nerve tumor or a pinched nerve. Fortunately, it’s benign, but it can be painful for those who have it. Typically, it’s found between the third and fourth toe, but they have appeared all over the foot.


It’s also commonly diagnosed as “Morton’s neuroma” or an “intermetasartal neuroma.” The second one is referring to the location, which is in the ball of the foot. A 19th-century surgeon named Thomas George Morton discovered the neuroma.


People who have it can feel burning, tingling, and numbness and can make walking a chore. Here is what people should know about this condition.



While what makes this occur has not been definitively pinpointed, researchers and doctors have several ideas. There are several possible things that can theoretically be linked to making a neuroma: 

- Deformities that are biomechanical in nature. People with high arches or flat feet may be prone to this. This is due to the fact that when they walk, the toe joints are not stabilized, which opens the door to a neurons.

- Foot trauma can damage nerves, which can cause swelling or inflammation around them.

Footwear that squeezes the toes together can help cause this. High-heel shoes with a heel that is more than two inches can cause a lot of pressure on the toes.

- Jobs that cause stress on the feet. People who have to be on their feet all day and may not be wearing the most comfortable of shoes.

- Certain sports, like running, can be quite hard on the feet. People who ski or rock climb may wear shoes that are too tight.



Neuromas can behave differently for each individual.People who have neuromas will usually have one or more of these symptoms:

- They will feel pain in the front of their feet and between their toes.

- There will be numbness and tingling at the balls of their feet

- They will see swelling between their toes

- If they put weight on the balls of their feet, there will be pain.



People can do the following, often in conjunction with their podiatrist:


- Wear padding in their shoes. This will support the arch of their foot.

- Put ice on the foot to reduce swelling.

- Wear orthotic devices to support their foot and stop nerve compression.

- Change their everyday activities to stop putting pressure on the neuroma

- Take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

- Modify their shoes to fit their feet better.

- Possibly do injections of medicine like cortisone.


If the neuroma has progressed too far or the foot has not responded to other treatment, surgery may be the best option - but actual procedures and recovery will vary with each individual.



Vigilance is key when it comes to dealing with this.. People need to go see a podiatrist when they feel any of the above symptoms. It’s not something that they should try to gut through. Neuromas tend to worsen over time and can cause a great deal of discomfort and pain. 


Sadly, people tend to neglect their feet, treating them as an afterthought… until pain dictates otherwise. Even then, some may want to sacrifice in the name of fashion, particularly those who prefer to wear high heels.  It’s better to set oneself up for consistent comfort, particularly in their later years, then spending that time with regret.

Dr. John J Hickey has extensive experience in helping people wear the best-fitting shoe that can help prevent neuromas or alleviate the situation should one develop. Give him a call at 516-735-4545 to see him at Levittown Podiatry.

Published By

 Dr. John J Hickey

2870 Hempstead Tpke,

 Suite 103, Levittown New York

Phone: 516-735-4545