A neuroma is a non-cancerous condition that affects the ball of your foot. It occurs when the tissue around a nerve that leads to your toe thickens from irritation, trauma, or excessive pressure. Fort Worth neuroma frequently develops between your third and fourth toes, but it can also occur between your second and third toes. This condition can be painful, leading to walking difficulties. If you do not treat your neuroma, it can cause permanent nerve damage. There is no growth or tumor in a neuroma, but the toe nerve tissue becomes inflamed and enlarges.
Physical examination: Your specialist will look at your feet to check the presence of mass between your toes. The doctor can also apply pressure on the spaces between your toe bones to determine the foot pain location.
X-ray: An x-ray helps rule out other foot injuries similar to neuromas, such as stress fracture or arthritis.
MRI scans: MRI detects a neuroma even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. It is more expensive than other diagnostic procedures.
Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound is relatively cheap and does not have radiation. It has the same accuracy as that of an MRI. It can differentiate a neuroma from similar complications like synovitis.
Treatment depends on the severity of your neuroma. The treatments include:
Corticosteroid injections: Your doctor will inject a steroid medication directly into the neuroma, which helps to reduce inflammation. You should take limited shots to avoid side effects such as pain, fat loss at the injection site, skin discoloration, and increased blood sugar.
Alcohol sclerosing injections: These injections reduce the size of your neuroma and pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: You take these drugs orally to reduce inflammation, and they include ibuprofen or aspirin
Radiofrequency ablation: This treatment procedure involves your doctor heating your nerve tissue with an electric current. It aims to relieve pain lasting up to twelve months.
Surgery: Your neuroma will require surgery if all other treatments have not worked. The surgeon can use a dorsal or plantar approach. In the dorsal method, your specialist will make an incision on the top of your foot, and the stitches made afterward will allow you to walk after the surgery. The plantar technique involves your surgeon making an incision on the sole of your foot. A sole incision will make walking difficult, so that you will use crutches for at least three weeks. There are low risks of infection around the toes after surgery.
- Biomechanical deformities like flat or high-arched feet can lead to a neuroma. These foot disorders cause instability around your toe joints leading to this condition.
- Improper footwear squeezes your toes, leading to nerve damage. High-heeled shoes can increase pressure on your forefoot parts, causing neuroma.
- Trauma can damage your toe nerves resulting in inflammation or neuroma.
- Repeated stress to your toes can create or intensify a neuroma. Certain sports like running, rock climbing, or jogging can cause recurrent pressure on your toes, leading to a neuroma.
Neuroma pain can be distracting and wear down your mental and emotional wellbeing. Schedule an appointment at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists to get neuroma treatment from experienced and high qualified surgeons.