Most people are not familiar with the condition known as Morton’s Neuroma, but people who suffer from the condition soon look for some way to cure it. The symptoms of the problem include foot pain in the area of the second and third toes, and the toes may also begin to feel numb. While numbness of a painful area may seem beneficial, this symptom only seems to add to the discomfort.
There are multiple reasons that someone may develop Morton’s Neuroma, but the most likely cause is ill-fitting shoes that cause bones of the foot to impinge on nerves. Women who regularly wear high heels with pointy toes often develop a bunion or hammer toes, and these deformities can cause crowding in the forefoot and pinched nerves. Surgery to fix these problems can also alleviate pressure on the nerves and the neuroma will sometimes disappear.
Morton’s Neuroma surgery is also an option for people who have tried less invasive methods to relieve their pain. Some non-surgical treatments include properly fitted arch supports, wearing cushioned shoes with a roomy toe box, modifying activity or losing weight. Anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, cortisone injections or orthotic inserts to protect the ball of the foot may also provide considerable relief for some patients.
Morton’s Neuroma surgery may be the best choice for people who have found little or no relief from all the non-surgical treatments available. The surgery involves removal of the offending nerve through a small incision made on the top of the foot. The surgeon must take care to remove enough of the nerve so that it is not affected by pressure in the ball of the foot. The surgery is completed in an out-patient setting, and the patient is able to go home the same day.
The surgery is performed while with the patient’s foot numbed by a local anesthesia. If needed, the anesthesiologist will also administer a sedation drug. The risks involved with surgery for Morton’s neuroma are similar to any other out-patient surgery involving anesthesia, although unexpected complications can arise.
Post-surgical risks may include infection, swelling, pain, bleeding, hematoma, blood clot, unsightly scarring, stiffness or disability.
Individuals who have had surgery for Morton’s Neuroma leave the clinic walking in a post-surgical shoe that they will need to wear from two to four weeks. They will have a pain medication available to make their recovery more comfortable. Healthy patients are generally able to begin wearing their regular shoes within two weeks, but others may take as long as six weeks to return to their normal activities. Some factors that slow the healing of the site include smoking, age, poor nutrition and certain other health challenges.
People who are suffering from Morton’s Neuroma should discuss all their options with their physician before choosing surgery. All the risks and benefits of the procedure should be discussed with the surgeon before making this important decision. It is never a bad idea to get a second opinion about whether the surgery is worth the risk.