By Reza Mobarak, DPM, FAFAS
Are you complaining of pain in the balls of your feet? Do you have shooting pains, burning, numbness, or all of the above? Well, if you do, you might be suffering from a neuroma.
A neuroma can start with minimal pain under the foot. If it’s caught early, the symptoms can be treated with change of daily activity and shoe gear. But, if left untreated, it can lead to surgery, in which the neuroma must be excised. Neuromas most often form in the nerve running in between the third and fourth digits. This is referred to as a Morton’s neuroma, which results from pressure or trauma to the nerves. Trauma can be of any kind, including repetitive standing or walking.
Other causes could be the structure of the foot, which would be flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes. Neuromas could also develop due to tight, narrow shoes or from continued pressure, from frequently walking barefoot on hard floors, as well as continuous and consistent pressure from various sports. For example: running.
The nerve that is mostly affected between toes is a sensory nerve. It frequently becomes inflamed from being pinched between the toes. The signs and symptoms most frequently are burning pain at the site of the inflammation and pain that radiates to the distal toes. There are different clinical tests that are performed in the office to diagnose whether a neuroma is present or not. To definitively diagnose this issue, either an ultrasound or a MRI is ordered. Once it’s determined a neuroma is present, the least invasive treatment should be performed. This would include: changing footwear to a wider toe box and no heels. Other conservative treatments would include: custom orthotics, anti inflammatories, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and stem cell therapy. Most of the treatments are effective approximately 75% of the time. If all conservative treatments fail, then surgery would be discussed with the patient.
If surgery is preformed, a one-inch incision is made to the top of the foot. The neuroma is then removed and two to three sutures are used to close the incision site. Most patients are back in regular shoe gear within two to three weeks. This surgery has a high rate of success if the patient is compliant. Almost every patient is able to return to their previous activities and exercise regimen.
If you believe you are suffering from a neuroma, call Southwest Foot & Ankle Center and schedule an appointment so we can get you back on your feet.
Reza Mobarak, DPM, FACFAS is Board Certified in Foot & Ankle Surgery and is the owner of Southwest Foot and Ankle Center. SWFA has three convenient locations in Plano, Lewisville, and Irving and we are here to help you five days a week! So why wait? Call us today at 972-316-0902. For further information visit www.swfacenter.com. You can also find additional information on our affiliated company DFW Wound Care Center at www.dfwwoundcarecenter.com. We look forward to helping you care for your feet!