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Morton’s Neuroma

Written by Accredited Sports Professionals   Posted in:Common Issues   June 1, 2015

Morton’s Neuroma  article image
Morton’s Neuroma is a condition affecting a nerve located between the toes of one's foot. In most cases the area affected is second and third or third and fourth metatarsal space, with the pain occurring between the retrospective toes. Effectively the adjacent metatarsal heads between the toes can compress the nerve between the bones, resulting in pain and irritation of this nerve (Hackney & Wallace, 1999). There is no main cause of Morton’s Neuroma that has been found, although tight fitted footwear and flat feet (fallen arches) have been recognised as some of the main methods which aggravate the injury. (Anderson & Hall, 1997). Diagnosis of the condition can be characterised by various symptoms, including pain from the lateral side of one toe to the medial part of the next toe (Paterson & Renstrom, 2001 which means from the side of one of the concerned toes to the middle of the other. The pain occurs on the plantar side of the foot, which is the same side as the sole of the foot (Anderson & Hall, 1997). Other symptoms of Mortons Neuroma are a similar sensation to an electric shock, where compression of the metatarsal bones can trigger the pain. If the pain in the foot is persistent, it is advisable to seek medical attention from a GP who may refer you to a podiatrist or for an MRI scan. There are various ways in which Morton’s Nueroma can be treated and aided, with non-surgical treatments working for some people and others needing surgery. The athlete may be advised to rest the injury like any other, relieving pressure on the area. This treatment could be done by avoiding activities that involve pushing off with the feet (Peterson & Renstrom, 2001). The athlete should also try to avoid footwear which puts pressure on the affected metatarsals, perhaps wearing more loosely fitted shoes. Non-surgical methods provided by the doctor may include anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen as well as prescribed physiotherapy. Another method would be to provide an arch support, which reduces pressure on the affected nerves. Local anaesthetic may also be used to ease pain. Finally, the perhaps most effective method would be an operation removing the neuroma from the foot. This permanently will remove the sensation created by the neuroma as it is actually taken out of the foot and not temporarily fixed. The approximate recovery time is 2-3 months to allow it to heal properly (Peterson & Renstrom, 2001).
 
References
Anderson, M. K., & Hall, S. J. (1997). Fundamentals of sports injury management. Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins

Hackney, R. G., & Wallace, W. A. (1999). Sports medicine handbook. Wiley-Blackwell.
Peterson, L., & Renstrom, P. (2001). Sports injuries: Their prevention and treatment. CRC Press