What is a neuroma?

A neuroma, or more specifically in a podiatrist’s case, a Morton’s neuroma occurs when fibrous tissue forms around nerve tissue of the intermetatarsal plantar nerve.  It is important to note that while a neuroma is similar to a tumor, it is not effectively a tumor, and if often mislabeled as such.  While neuromas can be malignant, neuromas of the nature we are speaking will be benign.  Thinking of these neuromas as tissue that grows and wraps around a nerve is more accurate than simply referring to the mass as a tumor.

Morton's NeuromaAs the tissue gets larger the more pressure is applied to the nerve and the more severe the symptoms will become.  The most common symptoms are pain, numbness, and paresthesia (“pins and needles”).  Normally the pain will come intermittently with weight bearing activity, however it more extreme cases a constant burning pain can occur.

Neuromas are most frequently treated with orthotics and corticosteroid injections, however in cases of extreme pain, the neuroma can be surgically removed.

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