Treatment and Surgery for Neuromas

What are neuromas?

Neuromas are swelling of the nerve, and usually occur in the larger nerve trunks of the foot. The term neuroma literally means a “tumor of a nerve,” which is an abnormal growth of cells within a nerve. The vast majority of neuroma are benign.

What causes neuromas?

The cause is typically irritation of a nerve in the front part of the foot when it rubs up against a thick ligament and leads to an inflammatory reaction that ultimately results in scarring or fibrosis around the nerve. Flat-feet, high arches, high heels, narrow or pointed shoes, and
certain repetitive physical activities can result in a neuroma.

Symptoms include: sharp or achy pain in the front part of the foot at the base of the toes; numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” feeling of the toes; a sensation of feeling a “lump” on the bottom of the forefoot; a feeling as if the sock is bunched up; feeling a “clicking” sensation when walking.

What is the treatment?

Tests including an ultrasound or MRI may be used to diagnosis neuroma.

Medical treatments include changes or modifications of shoe gear, orthotics, injections, foot padding, and the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Surgical excision of the neuroma may be necessary in more severe cases.