Morton’s neuroma is inflammation of the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the foot.

If you’ve ever had a rock in your shoe that left your foot feeling irritated and swollen, then you have some idea of what it’s like to have Morton’s Neuroma. This painful foot condition typically affects people between the ages of 40 and 50 but can happen to anyone, at any time.

Morton’s neuroma is an inflammation of the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the foot. Usually, this sort of thickening of tissue surrounding the digital nerve leading to the toes happens between the second, third and fourth bones of the foot. It is often caused by compression of the nerves from trauma, or excessive pressure, and results in irritation and swelling.

Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or by wearing high heels can cause symptoms to worsen. People who have flat feet or high arches are more susceptible to developing Morton’s neuroma.

An often painful condition, the more serious symptoms may include sharp pain between the toes, a sharp, burning pain while walking or standing, swelling and inflammation between the toes, numbness and tingling between the toes and pain under the balls of the feet.

Treatment Options

The best treatment initially can be a combination of wearing roomy comfortable shoes and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for occasional pain. If discomfort continues then employing custom foot orthotics (shoe inserts) and getting cortisone injections works well to provide relief for most patients. If these conservative measures do not relieve symptoms, then surgical treatment options may be considered.


Morton’s neuroma surgery involves resecting a small portion of the nerve or releasing the tissue around the nerve. This type of surgery generally requires a relatively short recovery period, generally around two to four weeks.

Story source: Orthoinfo American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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