Neuromas are a common foot issue for average Americans and athletes alike. Simply wearing shoes that are too narrow can bring about a neuroma, though it is often seen as a gradual sports injury, when your foot slaps heavily to the ground. The orthopedic specialists at NY Bone and Joint, especially our top foot surgeon, find that neuromas are one of the most common foot issues they treat. Our foot surgeon is dedicated to providing the most conservative treatment for neuromas before considering a surgical excision of neuroma. Patients find that under the guidance of our foot surgeon, their condition improves drastically with orthotics, injection therapy, and simple lifestyle changes.

At NY Bone and Joint Specialists we understand how frustrating your injury can be and strive to make your visits to the office a pleasant experience. Conveniently located on the Upper East Side and Midtown Manhattan, we are available whenever and where ever you may need. Our best in class orthopedists will always take urgent cases and are happy to accept in and out of network benefits. Our friendly staff will take care of all billing processes and speak to your insurance company for you. Patients who return to NY Bone and Joint Specialists for routine physical therapy, injection therapy, or sports rehabilitation are always greeted by name and with a smile. Our therapists, doctors, and staff will track your progress, send you appointment reminders, and always give you the best attention and orthopedic care in the New York area.

DESCRIPTION

Neuromas are thickened portions of nerve that can cause discomfort and pain. Neuromas will often form in your foot, particularly the ball of your foot. Mortons Neuroma is the most common neuroma, affecting a nerve at the spaces between the ends of the metatarsal bones where they come in close proximity (called metatarsal heads). Your nerve will appear swollen as it thickens from irritation. As your nerve becomes enlarged, it will experience further compression which causes symptoms such as numbness, tingling and sharp shooting pains to be felt down the adjacent toes. Neuromas develop gradually so your pain will not be constant at first. Massaging the foot or taking your shoes off may temporarily relieve your symptoms, but without treatment from our top foot and ankle doctor, your neuroma will continue to enlarge.

SYMPTOMS

  • Feeling that you are stepping on a marble or pebble at the ball of your foot
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Tingling or numbness in your toes
  • Burning inside your foot or in your toes

CAUSES

Neuromas form when something compresses your nerve. This often happens when you wear high heels, as it puts pressure on the ball of your foot, or when you wear pointed toe shoes that compress the metatarsals. Neuroma usually develops as a sports injury. Repetitive irritation to the ball of your foot is common during running or other court sports, like tennis. Having flat feet, bunions, or other foot conditions makes it more likely that your nerve will become irritated and a neuroma will form.

DIAGNOSIS

Your best in class podiatrist will ask you about your pain and other symptoms. Your foot doctor will usually be able to determine if you have a neuroma and where it is by physically examining and manipulating your foot.

X rays are simply used by your foot doctor to rule out other possible causes of pain, such as a fracture. An ultrasound is an effective way to find soft tissue abnormality.

TREATMENT

If neuromas are treated early, conservative treatment is usually successful. Later stage neuromas may need to be treated by your top podiatrist with surgery if pain doesn’t improve with conservative treatment.

  • Custom foot orthotics can support your arch which relieves pressure on your metatarsal bones. This can relieve the compression on the neuroma. Furthermore, a metatarsal pad could be incorporated to offload weight on the area.
  • Oral anti-inflammatories can reduce level of inflammation brought about from the irritated nerve, temporarily decreasing symptoms.
  • Corticosteroid injections help with severe pain. This is injected directly at the neuroma to reduce swelling locally and relieve pain for a few months at a time.
  • Adjusting your shoes is important in treating a neuroma and ensuring it doesn’t return. While treating a neuroma, avoid high heeled and narrow shoes.

If your neuroma has enlarged significantly and conservative methods do not relieve pain, your podiatrist may suggest surgery. An excision of neuroma is a surgical procedure that aims to remove the portion of the nerve that is irritated and permanently enlarged. Most neuromas, like Morton’s Neuroma, can be excised through the top of the foot. Neuromas in the ball of your foot can be seen between the metatarsal bones. These procedures require careful weight bearing, but take less time to heal and have a lower risk of complication.

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