Thinking of buying some pretty high-heeled summer sandals? Our new foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Robert Schopf, diagnoses and treats many cases of foot pain and damage brought on by choosing pumps over flats for the office or after hours. One important condition resulting from high heels and/or too-tight shoes is called Morton’s Neuroma.
What is Morton’s Neuroma
The symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma — thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the bases of your third and fourth toes — include foot pain, odd sensation and/or numbness over the ball of the foot. It is 8 to 10 times more common in women than in men.
Initial treatment recommendations for Morton’s Neuroma, which actually is a benign nerve tumor, are usually nonsurgical. Orthopedists recommend wearing wider shoes with soft soles and avoiding high heels or tight shoes. This change in footwear choice allows your bones to spread out and can minimize pressure on the affected nerve, offering it time to heal.
Custom shoe inserts or pads may also help relieve foot pain and irritation by supporting and separating the bones to reduce nerve pressure. According to studies, a combination of the above recommendations plus nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone injections, achieves relief in over 80 percent of patients with Morton’s Neuroma.
However, if these more conservative measures fail to relieve your symptoms, your orthopedic surgeon may need to discuss other treatment options, including removing a small portion of the nerve or releasing the tissue around the nerve. Fortunately, only a brief recovery period is required.
The prevention of this foot problem is key: limit time in high heels and/or wear wide-toe-box shoes, which are high and broad across the toes. When it’s too late for prevention, we’re here for you at Sideline Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Please contact us at (540) 552-7133 or schedule online for expert help in counteracting or surgically correcting podiatry-related problems.