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Morton's neuroma is a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of your
foot. When your toes are squeezed together too often and for too long, the
nerve that runs between your toes can swell and get thicker. This swelling can make it
painful when you walk on that foot. High-heeled, tight, or narrow shoes can
make pain worse. Sometimes, changing to shoes that give your toes more room can
Morton's neuroma can cause
a very painful burning or sharp pain in your foot that feels worse when you
walk. It may feel like a small lump inside the ball of your foot. It is usually
between the third and fourth toes, but it can also be between other
A doctor can usually identify
Morton's neuroma during a physical exam. He or she will squeeze or press on the
bottom of your foot or squeeze your toes together to see if it hurts. Your
doctor may also order an
X-ray of your foot to make sure nothing else is
causing the pain.
You may be able to treat this
problem at home:
If these steps do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor
may have you use special pads or devices that spread the toes to keep them from
squeezing the nerve. In some cases, a doctor may give a
steroid shot to reduce swelling and pain. If these
treatments do not help, your doctor may suggest surgery.
October 1, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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