Conditions & Services

Neuromas

A neuroma can develop in many parts of the body, however neuromas that occur in the foot can be particularly painful and bothersome. When nerves are compressed, they become thicker. This enlargement of the nerve can eventually lead to permanent nerve damage when left untreated.

Early treatment upon noticing symptoms is key to preventing permanent nerve damage from a foot neuroma. If you think you may suffer from a neuroma and live in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area, please contact us at Ohio Foot and Ankle Center so that a diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin.

What is it?

Morton’s neuroma is the most common type of neuroma. It is sometimes referred to as Intermetatarsal neuroma because of its location in the ball of the foot, nestled in the metatarsal bones. When a nerve is compressed between the bones, it becomes enlarged and can lead to nerve damage.

Some of the symptoms of a neuroma are:

  • A tingling, burning sensation or numbness in the foot
  • Pain in the affected area
  • The phantom feeling that something is lodged in the ball of the foot
  • The sensation that something is stuck in your shoe or your sock is bunched up

Morton’s neuroma typically progresses with this pattern:
The symptoms begin gradually. At first these sensations are only noticed when wearing narrow shoes or performing certain activities that aggravate the pain. Once you remove your shoe, massage the area or avoid the activity, symptoms may go away temporarily. However, with time these symptoms get progressively worse and may be constant for several days or weeks. As the nerve enlarges, symptoms are more intense and the temporary nerve damage can become permanent.

Am I at risk?

Wearing narrow or tapered-toe shoes can cause the toes to be crammed into the toe box, thereby compressing a nerve. Certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet or more flexible feet also carry a higher risk for developing a foot neuroma. Neuromas are also frequently caused by an injury to the foot.

How are neuromas diagnosed?

The most important diagnostic tool to determine the presence of a neuroma is to see a physician who can manipulate your foot to reproduce these types of tingling and numbness sensations. After a complete medical history and thorough examination, other diagnostic tests and imaging may be needed to determine diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment greatly diminishes the need for invasive surgery. The best time to seek treatment for a neuroma is in the early stage of symptoms, before permanent nerve damage is done.

For more details on Morton’s neuroma, visit the ACFAS informational website.