Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas
Foot and Ankle Surgeons & Podiatrists located in Matthews, NC & Monroe, NC
Anyone can develop a neuroma, but women are 8-10 times more likely to experience this painful problem primarily due to wearing high heels and shoes with pointed toes. At Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas, the experienced team of Eric Ward, DPM, and Blaise Woeste, DPM, encourages you to get early treatment for neuromas so you can prevent complications like nerve damage. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Matthews or Monroe, North Carolina, or use the convenient online booking form.
Neuromas Q & A
What is a neuroma?
A neuroma is a noncancerous growth that develops on the nerves in your foot. Though it could affect any nerve, neuromas typically occur on the nerve between your third and fourth toes when the tissue surrounding the nerve thickens. This condition is called Morton’s neuroma.
What causes a neuroma?
You develop a neuroma when the nerve is compressed or irritated by:
- Shoes that are too tight
- Shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with high heels
- Bunions or hammertoes
- Repetitive, high-impact movement like running
- Flatfeet or feet with a high arch
- Injury or trauma affecting the nerve
Of all the possible reasons, footwear issues are the most common cause of a neuroma.
What symptoms develop due to a neuroma?
As the neuroma first forms, your symptoms are mild and you’ll find that you feel better after removing your shoes. When the neuroma gets larger, you may feel the lump when you walk, as the enlarged tissues create the sensation that there’s something in your shoe.
The primary symptom, however, is pain in the ball of your foot or between your toes. Many people experience burning pain that radiates from the ball of their foot to their toes. The pain also gets worse when you’re active or wearing shoes.
How are neuromas treated?
It’s important to schedule an exam as soon as symptoms appear. Without early treatment, a neuroma can cause permanent nerve damage.
During your initial examination, your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas checks for a mass and rules out other foot problems that could cause similar symptoms. They may take X-rays to be sure you don’t have a stress fracture or arthritis.
Your treatment begins with nonsurgical therapies, such as:
- Shoe padding
- Custom orthotics
- Activity modification
- Shoe modifications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Corticosteroid injections
You’ll need to avoid repetitive activities that put extra pressure on the nerve. Shoe modifications include wearing shoes with a wider toe box and low heels.
If your neuroma doesn’t improve with conservative therapies, your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas may recommend surgery. They perform a simple procedure to remove the affected part of the nerve or to release the tissue around the nerve.
Don’t wait to get help for pain in the ball of your foot. Call Foot & Ankle of the Carolinas or book an appointment online.
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