What is Morton’s Toe?

09 Jul What is Morton’s Toe?

What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

Do you sometimes feel a sharp pain in your second or third toe? If it gets worse when you put on shoes, you might have a common condition called Morton’s Neuroma.

It’s a painful foot condition also known as neuroma of the foot or intermetatarsal neuroma. Morton’s neuroma is a common foot condition.

A neuroma is a growth of nerve tissue. Morton’s neuroma is a benign tumor that develops on the metatarsal joint.

What Causes It?

Wearing the wrong shoes: Most people get Morton’s neuroma from wearing stiff, flimsy, or high-heeled shoes. Women are particularly prone to Morton’s after years of wearing high heels.

Sports shoes: Sports like skiing and ice skating require the participants to wear tight-fitting shoes. Frequent use of these shoes can damage the tissue in the toes and lead to Morton’s.

Fallen arches, bunions and flat feet: People who suffer from other foot problems frequently develop Morton’s.

What Are the Symptoms?

The chief symptom of Morton’s is the feeling that you have a stone inside your shoe that’s pressing on your toe. You primarily feel it on the second or third toe.

This sensation intensifies when you wear shoes with a heel or lift. This “phantom stone feeling” is the hallmark of Morton’s.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the ball of your foot.
  • Throbbing pain in the ball of your foot when you step down.
  • Burning pain in your toes.
  • Stiffness and swelling of the toe joints.

How Does a Podiatrist Diagnose Morton’s Neuroma?

Only a podiatrist can make a clear diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma. Your doctor will conduct an assessment of your symptoms and examine your foot. In some cases, a doctor may choose to x-ray your foot to rule out other injuries.

What Is the Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma?

There is no cure for Morton’s. A podiatrist can help you manage the symptoms with a multi-faceted treatment approach. In most cases, treatment will consist of some or all of the following methods.

Rest: Stop wearing uncomfortable footwear and rest your foot. Some people use ice packs or gentle massages to reduce the swelling and stiffness.

Pain medications: Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications can reduce the throbbing, shooting pain you sometimes get with Morton’s.

Custom orthotics: Your podiatrist can create orthotics that cushion and protect your feet. Orthotics cushion your toes to prevent the friction that damages your tissue.

Radiofrequency ablation: This treatment uses an electric current to stop damaged nerve tissue from emitting pain signals. Doctors have used it to treat arthritis and other chronic conditions. Some podiatrists have had success using it to treat Morton’s.

Is Surgery an Option?

Surgery is an option in advanced cases of Morton’s where other treatments don’t work. There is a small risk that the pain can return in the form of a “stump neuroma” if a surgery doesn’t remove all the tissue.

Keep Your Feet Healthy

Wearing sturdy, supportive footwear that doesn’t cramp your toes is the best way to prevent Morton’s and many other foot problems. If you play a sport that requires tight-fitting footwear, remove them as soon as you can.

At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we can diagnose and treat Morton’s neuroma. There’s no need to live with this pain a moment longer. Contact us to schedule a podiatric checkup today.

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