Neuroma de Morton

Definition

Neuroma or Morton’s disease is a painful condition that affects the toes. The disease most often develops between the 3rd and 4th toes [/efn_note]Book: Mayo Clinic Guide to Arthritis, Managing joint pain for an active life, Lynne S. Peterson, 2020, Mayo Clinic[/efn_note]. Morton’s neuroma is a thickening of tissue that surrounds one of the nerves leading to the toes (see infographic below).

Epidemiology

It is estimated that women are more affected than men by Morton’s neuroma.

Causes

The pain is believed to be caused by a thickening of the scar tissue around the nerves that innervate the tips of the toes.
Another theory is nerve compression in the toes from wearing shoes that are too tight.

Risk factors

Certain factors seem to increase the risk of suffering from Morton’s neuroma.

Use of high heels. These shoes can put a lot of pressure on the forefoot and especially the toes. Wearing tight shoes can also increase your risk.

The practice of certain sports. Running (jogging, running) can lead to repeated trauma to the feet due to repetitive impacts. Skiing, including cross-country skiing, as well as climbing, can put pressure especially on the front of the feet (toes).

Foot problems or illnesses. Certain conditions such as hallux valgus (bunions), clawed toes, flat feet, and overly flexible feet increase the risk of Morton’s neuroma.

People who are overweight (overweight and obese).

Symptoms

Pain
– The pain felt can feel like you are standing with a pebble in your shoe or a wrinkle in your sock. The pain is very close to a burning sensation. Stinging and numbness can also be felt in the toes.
– The pain is present, most of the time, in only one foot.

Absence of visible signs
It is interesting to note that, in general, Morton’s neuroma does not lead to the appearance of visible signs, such as bulging or swelling in the feet, including the toes.

Diagnosis

The doctor may press on certain parts of the foot to diagnose the condition.
Sometimes medical imaging techniques are used (for example, x-rays or ultrasound).

Treatment & Tips

Treatment varies according to the intensity of the symptoms. In general, the doctor recommends personal care (read below) or special therapy with a bow.

Personal care (do it yourself) – Tips
Some treatments or measures will notably allow you to combat pain, such as:
– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
– Cold massage, use ice packs or ice cubes on the painful area.
– Change your shoes, avoid high-heeled shoes. Choose shoes that leave room for your toes.
– Take a break. Reduce physical activity for a few weeks, for example, stop running or dancing for a few weeks.

Special therapy (orthotics)
Supports such as arch braces placed while wearing shoes can help reduce pressure on the nerves. It is possible to buy these orthoses in specialized stores.

Surgery and other therapies
In severe cases or where other methods have not worked, the doctor may perform the following treatments:
– Injections of corticosteroids (cortisone) into the area of ​​pain
– Decompression surgery. The aim of this surgery is to reduce pressure on the nerve by cutting nearby structures (eg a ligament).
– Removal of the nerve. This surgery, usually done when other measures don’t work, is often successful, according to the Mayo Clinic , but there can be permanent adverse effects after a nerve section, such as numbness in the affected fingers.

Discover other diseases that affect the feet: Diseases that affect the feet – blisters , gout , calluses , hallux valgus (bunion)

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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