Thomas George Morton an American surgeon, born August 8, 1835, Philadelphia; died May 20, 1903, has the nerve. Well at least one of the most commonly inflamed ones in the foot is named after him. You may have heard of it, Morton’s Neuroma. The inflamed nerve that bears his namesake is found most commonly between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal bones just behind your 3rd and 4th toes (if your big toe is toe #1) the same symptoms can be found in between other metatarsals as well.
Classically found in runners, a patient with a neuroma may complain of numbness or tingling of the involved toes or pain that increases with activity. Many people say they feel like they are walking on a marble at the ball of their foot. Examination may reveal a clicking sensation (Mulders sign) when palpating this interspace while simultaneously squeezing the metatarsal joints. Along with running, overpronation and tight shoes are often associated with the condition.
When visiting a podiatrist at the office there are a few key exams like physical exam, x-ray, ultrasound, and MRI that the specialist can do to identify that your problem is a neuroma and not a variety of other issues that cause similar pain in that area of the foot. However, once identified, conservative treatment may include shoe or foot pads placed just behind the ball of the foot and physical therapy. If this fails injections of either alcohol or corticosteroids can be implemented. If the problem persists for several months a last line therapy of surgical removal of the neuroma may be used. Most neuromas can be treated with conservative modalities and resolve in 3-4 weeks.
If you feel similar symptoms as these make an appointment today. A visit with the specialist can speed up the recovery process and prevent long term associated problems. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary Friedlander or Dr. Jay Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists.