A morton’s neuroma is a swelling along the foot nerve responsible for transporting feelings from the toes. This swelling is benign (noncancerous), but it can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Among the most common symptoms of this condition are pain that radiates from the ball of the foot to the toe tips, extreme burning sensations, severe tingling, and numbness. Here’s what you need to know about treatment in Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC.
Will a Neuroma Go Away on Its Own?
No, a neuroma will not go away on its own. You need professional medical treatment administered by a podiatrist. In some cases, pain comes and goes depending on one’s footwear and physical activity. However, it still needs to be treated.
How Is This Condition Treated?
There are several treatment methods that may be prescribed, depending on your unique situation. One such treatment is steroid injections in the affected area. Unfortunately, the injection of steroids is not always enough to treat this condition. In some cases, decompression surgery is required to ease the pressure on the nerve. This is usually accomplished by cutting the ligament that connects the bones in the front of your affected foot.
If your case is severe, decompression surgery may not be ideal for you. There is a chance that you will benefit the most from the removal of the overgrown, painful nerve. To determine which treatment method is right for you, an initial consultation is required.
Can This Condition Be Treated At Home?
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may not even need injections in the ball of your foot. There is a chance that all you will need is to wear a custom pad in your shoe to support your foot, particularly the arch of your foot. If you’ve tried to get a foot insert from your local shoe store and been disappointed by the results, don’t despair. We can prescribe a shoe insert designed specifically for your unique needs that will be actually effective.
How Can I Improve My Symptoms Myself?
If you are desperate for symptom relief while waiting for your shoe insert to be custom-made for the unique structure of your foot, you’re not alone. For relatively immediate short-term relief, take a dose of over-the-counter NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen. This simultaneously eases pain and discomfort caused by swelling. You can also get short-term relief by massaging the ball of your foot with a cup filled with frozen water. However, these are not good long-term answers.
It is also a very good idea to wear deep shoes with a broad toe box to ensure there is plenty of room for your foot. Do not wear tight shoes under any circumstances, and do your best to avoid wearing high heels. If you feel like you have to wear high heels for an event, drive barefoot to the event, and take your shoes off as soon as you can. You also may benefit from taking a break from high-impact physical activities for a few weeks.
What Causes This Condition?
This condition is caused by an injury to a bundle of nerves leading to your toes, an excessive amount of chronic pressure applied to the nerves in the ball of your foot, or chronic nerve irritation. This can come from a sports injury, a job that requires you to walk many miles per day, or a hobby that puts a lot of pressure on your feet. For example, you may develop this condition if you take dance classes regularly, run, rock climb, or indoor ski.
What Are the Risk Factors of This Condition?
There are many risk factors for this condition, not the least of which is a physical deformity of the foot. For example, you are far more likely to develop this condition if you are flatfooted or have high arches. You are also at greater risk of developing this condition if you suffer from a contracted toe or bunions.
How Is This Condition Diagnosed?
To diagnose this condition, you must come in for an initial consultation in the Victoria, BC or Kelowna, BC area. Your consultation will begin with a discussion of your symptoms. This condition almost always affects the foot between the third and fourth toe. If you have pain between many toes, it is possible that you have inflammation caused by another problem, like wearing high heels or wearing shoes that are too narrow for your feet.
Depending on the description of your symptoms, you may be advised to get an X-ray of your foot to verify that there is no stress fracture. Other indicators that you suffer from a neuroma include poor range of motion, muscle weakness, tenderness, calluses, and visible swelling. Note, if your symptoms exist in both feet, there is only a minimal chance that you suffer from an overgrown nerve in the ball of your foot.
What Other Diagnostic Tests May Be Required?
It is worth noting that this condition will not show up on an X-ray. X-rays only serve to rule out other potential causes of pain, like stress fractures. To capture this condition on film, an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test may be required.
Ultrasound technology has been used for decades to capture images of a mother’s womb and the fetus growing inside of it. This technology is completely safe, highly effective, and will clearly show whether you have a bundle of overgrown nerves in your foot. In fact, this sound wave-based imaging technology is preferred over magnetic resonance imaging. MRI tests are also effective, but they’re usually used to diagnose this condition when there are no symptoms.
Am I a Good Candidate for Treatment in Victoria, BC or Kelowna, BC?
You may be considered a good candidate for painful nerve removal in Victoria or Kelowna, British Columbia if other treatment methods, like apparel changes and steroid injections, have proven fruitless. To be considered a good candidate for decompression surgery, you should have limited range of motion in your foot, severe pain, or other serious symptoms, like numbness or tingling radiating from the ball of your foot to the tips of your toes.
How Should I Prepare for My Initial Consultation?
To prepare for your first podiatrist appointment, you may want to keep a notebook handy at all times, so you can note your symptoms. What type of symptoms plague you? How severe are they? You also may want to write down when your symptoms started and whether they were immediate or gradual. Also, you should be prepared to talk about:
- What sports you participate in
- What medications you take regularly
- What dietary supplements you take regularly
- Whether your symptoms change with your footwear
- Whether certain activities ease your pain
- Whether certain activities exacerbate your pain
- Whether you have pain elsewhere in your body
The bottom line is that a neuroma will not go away on its own. Your pain may improve, but it still needs to be treated. Are you in the Victoria, BC or Kelowna, BC area? If so, book an appointment to come see us today at Island Foot Clinics. We also have convenient locations in Prince George, Terrace, Williams Lake, Victoria, Kelowna, and Campbell River.