Pain in the ball of your foot and a feeling like you’re standing on a pebble may be symptoms of a neuroma. Expert podiatrists Laura Schweger, DPM, Evan M. Ross, DPM, and the team at Optima Foot and Ankle diagnose and treat neuromas at their officse in Bend, Oregon and Redmond, Oregon. If you think you may have developed a neuroma, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.

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What is a neuroma?

A neuroma involves swelling of the tissue around one of your nerves. Neuromas can develop in various locations in your body, but the most common neuroma to affect the foot is called a Morton’s neuroma. Sometimes called an intermetatarsal neuroma, Morton’s neuroma develops in between your third and fourth toes.

What are the symptoms of a neuroma?

Neuromas typically don’t cause any outward signs, like a visible lump. But you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning pain in the ball of your foot
  • Feeling like you’re standing on a pebble
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes

Symptoms of a neuroma typically start out mild and gradually become more persistent and severe. At first, you may find relief from changing footwear or avoiding activities that aggravate the neuroma.

If left untreated, the neuroma enlarges over time, and the temporary changes in your nerve become permanent. That’s why it’s important to schedule an appointment with Optima Foot and Ankle as soon as you suspect you have a neuroma.

What causes a neuroma?

Anything that irritates your nerve tissue can lead to a neuroma. Common neuroma causes include:

  • Wearing shoes with a narrow toe box or high heels
  • Having foot deformities like a bunion, flatfoot, or hammertoe
  • Having injured the affected foot in the past

High-impact activities that involve repetitive stress to the foot, like running, may also cause a neuroma.

How are neuromas diagnosed and treated?

First, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider reviews your symptoms and medical history. They carefully examine your foot and press on it to check for a mass or area of tenderness. They may also take in-office imaging tests, like an ultrasound or fluoroscopy (a type of continuous X-ray).

Then, your podiatrist develops a personalized treatment plan based on the severity of your neuroma symptoms. Treatment may begin with custom orthotics, which your provider fits you for right in the office. Orthotics help to reduce pressure on the nerve.

Other nonsurgical treatments for a neuroma include:

  • Changing to more comfortable shoes with a wider toe box
  • Avoiding activities that aggravate the neuroma
  • Therapeutic injections of steroids and local anesthetics

If your symptoms continue despite conservative treatments, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider may recommend surgery to remove the enlarged nerve.

Neuromas are easiest to treat in their early stages, so call Optima Foot and Ankle or request an appointment online today.