What is a neuroma?

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton's neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas may also occur in other locations in the foot.

The enlargement of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates swelling of the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage.

Symptoms of a Morton's Neuroma

1. Tingling, burning, or numbness
2. Pain, especially in shoegear
3. Feeling like you are walking on a peeble

What causes a neuroma?

Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma.

People with certain foot deformities are at higher risk for developing a neuroma, including bunions and hammertoes. An injury or other type of trauma to the area may also lead to a neuroma.


Your podiatrist will arrive at a diagnosis mostly through clinical findings made during your physical examination.

The best time to see your foot and ankle surgeon is early in the development of symptoms. Early diagnosis of a Morton's neuroma greatly lessens the need for surgery.


Varies depending on length and severity of symptoms, these may include a metatarsal arch, orthotic devices, activity modifications, changes in shoewear, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or injection therapy.

When is surgery needed?

Surgery may be considered in patients who have not received adequate relief from other treatments. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine which approach is best for your condition.

The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. Regardless of whether you've undergone surgical or nonsurgical treatment, your foot and ankle surgeon will recommend long-term measures to help keep your symptoms from returning.

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