A neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth or tumor that arises from nerve tissue. The most common type of neuroma is a Morton's neuroma, which typically affects the nerves between the third and fourth toes in the foot.
The exact cause of neuromas is not always clear, but they are often associated with one of the common causes listed below:
- Compression: Pressure or compression on the nerve can cause it to thicken and become irritated. This can result from wearing tight or high-heeled shoes, which can squeeze the toes together and put excess pressure on the nerves.
- Foot Deformities: Certain foot deformities, such as bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet, can increase the risk of developing a neuroma because they can alter the mechanics of the foot and lead to nerve compression.
- Repetitive Stress: Activities or occupations that involve repetitive stress on the feet, such as running or jobs that require prolonged periods of standing, may contribute to the development of a neuroma.
Primary symptoms associated with a neuroma traditionally include:
- Feeling of a Lump: Some people describe a feeling of a lump or a "pebble" inside the shoe or between the toes.
- Numbness or Tingling: Some individuals with neuromas may experience numbness or tingling in the affected area.
- Pain: The most common symptom of a neuroma is pain, which is typically described as a burning or sharp shooting pain in the ball of the foot or between the toes. This pain may radiate into the toes.
- Worsening Pain Over Time: If left untreated, neuroma symptoms tend to worsen over time, and the pain may become more frequent and severe.
Treatment options may include changing footwear, orthotic devices, physical therapy, medications, or in severe cases, surgical removal of the neuroma. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help alleviate symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
If you suspect you have a neuroma or are experiencing persistent foot pain or discomfort, please request an appointment online or call (559) 256-5200 to schedule a consultation with one of our fellowship-trained foot doctors, Dr. Francis Glaser or Dr. Devin Mangold.
Our Fellowship-Trained Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Specialists
The Foot & Ankle Center is designed to provide our foot and ankle patients with comprehensive education and exceptional nonsurgical and surgical care through the combined knowledge, experience, and expertise of our specialty-trained foot and ankle surgeons.