Mortons Neuroma

What is it?

Each space between the toes contains a nerve that supplies sensation for the side of the toes on either side of the space. The main nerve divides into two branches on each side resulting in a Y shape. Sometimes a swelling appears on the nerve (neuroma) that can be painful.

What Causes it?

The exact cause is unknown although it may be due to the nerve being rubbed by the bones on either side.

What are the symptoms?

Pain is the most common problem. It is felt in between the toes often in the sole of the foot. There may also be some numbness in the sides of the toes that are supplied by the nerve. Pressure pushing the toes and foot together often make it more comfortable to walk with bare feet rather than wear shoes. The condition is most common in the space between the 3rd and 4th toes but may occur between the 2nd and 3rd toes.

How is the diagnosis made?

The doctor will listen to the description of the symptoms and will examine the foot and ankle. An ultrasound or MRI scan is helpful to identify the size of the neuroma and an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid confirms the diagnosis and may also provide lasting relief.

What is the initial treatment?

  • Avoiding tight fitting shoes and wearing insoles to reduce the load on the area can provide lasting symptom relief as can the diagnostic injection described above.
    If initial treatment doesn't work, what's next?
  • Surgery to remove the neuroma completely is often successful. It does produce numbness of the supplied toes although this is rarely ever noticed.

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837