Morton’s neuroma is usually caused by pressure or injury to a plantar nerve from wearing tight footwear, such as high heels. As the impacted nerve thickens, pain will increase with pressure.
The primary symptom of Morton’s neuroma is a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot that radiates to the toes. Tingling and numbness are common in toes near the neuroma. The sensation of standing on a pebble beneath the ball of the foot is also possible.
Physicians will review symptoms and medical history in order to diagnose Morton’s neuroma. During a physical exam, pressure will be placed on the ball of the foot to identify pain. Further testing is usually unnecessary, although x-rays may be used to rule out arthritis or stress fractures that could be causing pain.
In most cases, conservative treatments such as rest, shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy are effective in treating Morton’s neuroma. Corticosteroid injections may also provide pain relief. If symptoms still persist, surgery may be required to decompress the nerve.