The most typical type of neuroma that affects people is Morton’s neuroma. You can find it between your third and fourth toes, among other places on your foot. Generally, you can view neuroma as a benign tumor that impacts nerves. However, since a neuroma is not a tumor, there is no visible lump outside.

Foot neuroma occurs when a nerve gets disrupted by an injury partially or entirely. The neuroma appears like a ball-shaped mass and is usually painful when applying pressure to the area. You can have a tingling feeling on your foot around the area of pain or sharp pain (like a pinched nerve).

What Causes Neuroma?

Neuroma, particularly Morton’s neuroma, occurs when one wears tight shoes like high heels. The wrong types of shoes can irritate your feet and nerves by compressing them and creating pressure that may cause them to swell. The affected nerves gradually become more painful due to some foot ailments such as neuroma. Gait abnormality can also cause neuroma since it leads to instability when a lot of pressure is on the nerves of your feet.

A neuroma is typically associated with high arches, flat feet, hammertoes, and bunions. Neuromas are also common among babies born with congenital foot problems. Other causes of the condition can include engaging in sports activities that require tight shoes such as skiing and ballet or repetitive sports such as racquet sports and running. In rare cases, you can get the condition from suffering an injury to your foot.

Types of Neuroma

Besides Morton’s neuromas, there are traumatic neuromas, acoustic neuromas, Pacinian neuromas, ganglioneuromas, and neurinomaAcoustic neuroma is also known as vestibular schwannoma, and it occurs in the brain (a benign tumor). Traumatic neuromas result from nerve injury sustained during surgery in the mouth. The condition occurs around the tongue and near the oral foramen.

Pacinian neuromas can develop in rare cases. Pacinian neuromas are benign hyperplastic tumors that grow on the Pacinian corpuscles. The ganglioneuroma is a tumor of the sympathetic nerve originating from neural crest cells. The fact that they do not contain immature elements and are fully differentiated makes them easy to identify by specialists.

Risk Elements

Some factors contribute to neuroma conditions in the body. One example is wearing unstable shoes that put extra pressure on the toes. These are high-heeled shoes like wedges and stilettos. Sports such as running, jogging, rock climbing, and skiing subject your feet to repetitive trauma and pressure.

In addition, having a foot condition can also be a risk factor. Foot conditions such as hammertoes, flat feet, and bunions can place you at high risk of developing a neuroma.

More Than One Neuroma on the Same Foot

It is a rare condition, but 10–15% of patients have been diagnosed with two neuromas on the same feet. Experts have suggested that it can result from wearing uncomfortable footwear and being born with anatomical traits and biomechanical characteristics that make your feet susceptible to neuromas.

Diagnosis of Neuroma

Trained medical specialists can offer foot diagnostics on suspected neuroma cases. You can visit a local medical institution or book an appointment with us to schedule an evaluation at your convenience. Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:

●      A tingling sensation in your toes

●      Discomfort along with your feet/toes while walking

●      Burning sensation on the underside of your feet

It is best to pay your doctor a visit at the onset of continuous foot discomfort that remains after adjusting one’s footwear, diet, and physical stress factors that could potentially aggravate a neuroma. Doctors use several tests to search for neuroma symptoms in patients. Some of the most common test procedures prescribed for suspected cases include:

●      X-rays – Doctors can use X-rays to test for the condition among suspected cases of the ailment. X-rays provide a cost-effective evaluation method with a high degree of accuracy. The test searches for other causes (such as stress fractures) that carry similar signs as neuroma.

●      MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – An MRI provides an extensive evaluation of soft tissue along your foot and other possibly affected body parts. Doctors can order an MRI to understand the extent of damage and severity of the disease. An MRI is an expensive diagnosis option but has the highest degree of accuracy when compared with other methods.

●      Ultrasound – Ultrasounds use radio waves to create revealing images of soft tissue structures. Doctors can diagnose neuromas by using ultrasound reports to study the surrounding tissue structure for signs of growth and inflammation.

Ignoring Morton’s neuroma is rarely life-threatening. However, the condition can cause extensive nerve and tissue damage to the affected part. The problem is highly treatable, and treatment can alleviate the pain and pressure of the ailment.

Treatment for Neuroma

Neuromas are rarely a dangerous condition. However, the ailment can cause discomfort and suffering to affected individuals. Most effective treatment options include changing your footwear to a more comfortable design, drinking water regularly, and avoiding salt.

Most changes relate to a change in lifestyle and dietary needs. However, severe cases might require a person to undergo minor surgery to remove the growth from the affected area. The following covers additional treatment options for dealing with neuromas.

Non-surgical Treatment for Neuroma

You can opt for non-surgery treatment options to eradicate Morton’s neuroma. A doctor can provide a diagnosis to indicate whether one could be suffering from the condition. A non-severe case can usually be handled at home, and your practitioner can recommend medication and other changes to improve your health.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

●      Taking non-inflammatory medication – Doctors can prescribe different types of medication to help patients alleviate the symptoms of the ailment through injections and oral over-the-counter treatments.

●      Arch supports and footpads – A doctor can help alleviate damage and pain to an affected foot by advocating for specially designed footpads or other arch supports for affected individuals. Arch supports work by relieving pressure on the inflamed nerves, making it more comfortable to perform regular movements.

●      Prescribed rest and dietary changes – Doctors can prescribe rest to affected patients. Inflammatory neuroma and other tenderfoot ailments require a constant rest schedule to alleviate pressure from the affected points.

Patients need to avoid constant movement and make some dietary changes such as controlling their sugar and salt intake during the recovery process.

When Surgery Is Needed for Neuroma

Severe cases of neuroma require surgical treatment. Doctors can recommend surgery to deal with severe cases of nerve inflammation. Surgeons fix the problem by cutting the inflamed nerve to relieve pressure and create space. Surgery treatments are ideal for patients suffering from multiple neuromas.

When Surgery Is Needed for Neuroma

Severe cases of neuroma require surgical treatment. Doctors can recommend surgery to deal with severe cases of nerve inflammation. Surgeons fix the problem by cutting the inflamed nerve to relieve pressure and create space. Surgery treatments are ideal for patients suffering from multiple neuromas.

Complications That Can Occur Due to Neuroma

Surgery can cause additional complications such as dysesthesias and numbness. Most of the problems are readily corrected by a doctor’s visit while others might be more complicated to handle. Open wound infections can occur on exposure to bacteria and other pathogens. Patients might occasionally experience symptoms such as numbness in their toes, occasional loss of feeling, and other less severe side effects of the surgery.

Neuroma Recovery Process

Neuroma recovery requires rest. The ideal recovery time taken depends on the severity of the condition, the treatment method used, and the doctor’s advice. Surgical treatment procedures generally require more time to heal to allow for tissue regeneration on the wound. Your doctor can advise on lifestyle changes to prevent the disease from recurring.

Can the Neuroma Reoccur After Treatment?

Although rare, neuroma cases can reoccur after treatment. There are several reasons why the conditions recur. Some leading causes of neuroma recurrence include misdiagnosis, poor resection, and continued discomfort from nerve lumps.

When conducting assessments and treatments for the illness, it is best to go to established facilities. If you suspect a recurrence of the disease, perform a quick evaluation at home before visiting a physician.

Why You Might Request a Foot and Ankle Doctor

You can request a foot and ankle doctor whenever you experience pain and discomfort in your lower limbs. Foot and ankle doctors are trained professionals who specialize in treating lower limb conditions. The doctors are board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) to handle foot and ankle conditions among patients.

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