Neuromas

What is a Neuroma?


A neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes that can cause pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot, frequently when walking. At times, the patient will describe the pain as similar to having a stone in his or her shoe. The pain may be relieved by resting or rubbing the painful area. The vast majority of people who develop neuromas are women.

What you can do…

  • Wear shoes with plenty of room for the toes to move, shock-absorbant soles, low heels, and laces or buckles that allow for width adjustment.
  • Resting the foot and massaging the affected area can temporarily alleviate neuroma pain. Use an ice pack to help to dull the pain and improve comfort.
  • Over-the-counter shoe pads can relieve pressure around the affected area.

How a podiatric physician can help...

Padding and Taping:  Special padding at the ball of the foot may change the abnormal foot function and relieve the symptoms caused by the neuroma.
Medication:  Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease acute pain and inflammation caused by the neuroma.
Orthotic Devices:  Custom shoe inserts made by your podiatrist may be useful in controlling foot function. An orthotic device may reduce symptoms and prevent the worsening of the condition.
Surgical Options:  When early treatments fail and the neuroma progresses past the threshold for such options, surgery may become necessary. The procedure, which removes the inflamed and enlarged nerve, can usually be completed on an outpatient basis, with a recovery time that is often just a few weeks.
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Source: American Podiatric Medical Association