A foot neuroma causes pain in the ball of your foot, most often between the third and fourth toes, however, it can be present in between any of the toes.
Symptoms range from mere discomfort or feeling like there’s a rock in your shoe to searing pain or stinging.
The toes might hurt or be numb, or you might be experiencing a radiating pain that shoots from the ball of your foot out into the toes. Like many foot conditions, it’s important to get this treated because it will only get worse.
Neuromas are caused by the thickening of tissue around the nerves that lead into your toes. It’s the body’s way of trying to protect the nerve from injury. While we don’t fully understand what causes foot neuromas, doctors suspect the culprit is some kind of irritation, injury or unusual pressure on the nerve due to faulty biomechanics. That’s because it’s relatively common among patients who:
When you come in for an appointment, we’ll do a thorough examination of your foot and may take an X-Ray or use an ultrasound to rule out any other possible causes of the pain.
- We’ll start by taking a look at the type of shoes you wear to see if that might be the culprit. (It’s amazing what the wrong shoes can do to your feet!)
- We might recommend arch supports or orthotics to relieve the pain and allow the tissue to return to normal. Other possible options, depending on the severity and level of pain, include corticosteroid injections, chemical neurolysis and surgery, but only after we have exhausted all other treatment options.
- When more conservative treatments do not work, we might recommend alcohol injections.
Patients receive a series of injections of an alcohol solution mixed with an anesthetic. The solution is injected directly into the nerve that is causing the pain, often assisted by the use of an ultrasound, to destroy that portion of the nerve.
We see a success rate of approximately 95% with alcohol injections. Patients rarely have any side effects and there is no recovery time. You might feel a little pain in that area later in the evening, but it’s most likely going to be less that what you felt with the neuroma.
Most importantly, it can help avoid the cost, pain and recovery time that comes with surgery.