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Understanding Morton's Neuroma: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

A morton's neuroma is a very common condition - so common that up to 20% of the population will have symptoms from a morton's neuroma at some stage in their lives.

This condition is up to ten times more common in women than men which can be due to a number of factors including inappropriate shoewear, ligamentous laxity and foot shape.

The exact reason for a morton's neuroma to occur is unknown, but thought to be due to compression of the interdigital nerves in the foot.

Symptoms can include pain in the webspace of the foot, numbness in the toes or a sensation that you a walking on a pebble. Investigations to confirm a neuroma can include an ultrasound or MRI scan, and this can be discussed with your general practitioner in combination with a thorough clinical examination.

Other (rarer) causes of foot pain can include nerve pain related to diabetes, stress fractures and infection so it is important to exclude these pathologies.

Once diagnosed, the easiest way to treat a morton's neuroma is to change your footwear. We recommend seeing a podiatrist in the first instance to discuss some padding and offloading techniques as well as changing your shoes, and we are more than happy to suggest an experienced podiatrist for you to see.

The next step is to try an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid, and this can be done by an experienced, qualified practitioner such as Dr Touzell (other medical practitioners and some podiatrists are also qualified to perform steroid injections) or it can be done under ultrasound guidance through a radiology centre.

Over 50% of morton's neuromas resolve with an injection alone. If these non-operative measures fail, there is an option for surgical excision which is a relatively minor day procedure requiring two weeks of recovery.

Morton's neuroma


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