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Morton's Neuroma Surgery

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a swollen nerve between the third and fourth toe and is a benign (non-cancerous) growth of nerve tissue. Morton’s Neuroma is not so much a tumor as it is a thickening of tissues surrounding the nerves that lead to the digital of your toe(s). It has been shown by many patients that Morton’s Neuroma will only attack a patients third and fourth toe and never on any other toes. This means that a patient who claims to be suffering from this problem can then narrow it down for their doctor who can then make a full diagnosis with Morton’s Neuroma as the prime diagnosis in the doctor’s mind. Any sign of a patient contracting this problem will usually result in the doctor sending the patient to hospital for an x-ray. This can then tell the doctor and the patient if Morton’s Neuroma is the actual cause of all their problems.

Morton’s Neuroma is also called Planter Neuroma.

Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma

Pain is usually localized between the third and fourth toe. It also causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes may also have a sharp pain or feel numb. This will obviously cause severe discomfort to the patient who will try to calm the pain down by maybe rubbing the sore area. This will obviously not help the problem and it is also not a cure for Morton’s Neuroma.

People who have had Morton’s Neuroma have said it feels like they were walking barefoot on marbles. This will be the reason why the doctor will usually ask the patient “how does it feel when you are walking”. So diagnosing Morton’s Neuroma is usually very easy if the patient is showing the signs that the doctor expects them to show for Morton’s Neuroma then it can be very easy and also a very quick diagnostic for the doctor.

The amount of pain usually depends on the weight being put on the foot it can either be sharp or dull. Dull pain will usually result in the patient not taking much notice. Especially if they are running a hectic lifestyle. They will feel that they do not have the time to visit the doctor, so they will wait and see if the pain will subside and eventually disappear. Or if the pain starts to get worse then they will usually take a quick trip to the doctor who will then tell them that they should have seen him when the pain was less severe.

Rarely is there more than one Morton’s Neuroma in a foot. It can attack other toes because the nerve passes under the ligament and if this nerve has a small tumor then you will feel one of your nerve tissue start to swell up and then this will result in the patient having trouble when they are walking. So they will of course take a trip to the doctor and they will be able to diagnose Morton’s Neuroma as the cause of their problems.

Causes of Morton's Neuroma

The exact causes of Morton’s Neuroma not known but here are some contributing factors.

  • Two bones in the foot that are constantly rubbing together can cause the nerve to become inflamed.
  • Being flatfooted.
  • Tight fitting shoes.
  • High heeled shoes.


You can self-diagnose Morton’s Neuroma by squeezing the flesh above and between the third and fourth toe to elicit pain. However for a more definite diagnosis you should see your doctor or podiatrist who will take an x-ray or put you through an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Who is affected?

Mostly it is found in women because of the style of shoes they wear. High heel and pointed toed shoes put uneven weight on the foot and compress the toes. It is usually 8 to 10 greater in women then in men. This is due to the fact that women will be wearing high heeled shoes as already described if you are prone to wearing these types of shoes then your chances of contracting Morton’s Neuroma is going to be far greater then compared to men who will always wear flat sole shoes.

Treatment for Morton's Neuroma

Treatment greatly depends on the causes. If Morton’s Neuroma is due to flat feet then arch supports should be worn. If it is caused due to wearing pointed shoes then it would be recommended that you don’t wear pointed shoes, the same would apply for high heals.

Sometimes taping the toes to help maneuver weight away from the swollen nerve can also be done.

Treatment is normally a change in footwear. In some cases orthopedic shoes were required.

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