Author: Chloe Wilson - BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Mortons Neuroma is a condition where there is damage and swelling of the nerves that run between the toes.
It causes toe joint pain, tingling and numbness between your toes and underneath the foot.
Many people find walking and running uncomfortable and complain that it feels like there is a small stone underneath their foot.
This may be due to other foot problems such as bunions, hammertoe and flat feet or wearing tight or high-heeled shoes.
Treatment consists of rest, painkillers, injections, orthotics (shoe insoles) and occasionally surgery.
Mortons neuroma is when a thickening develops in the tissue which surrounds the nerve which irritates and compresses the nerve.
It typically develops in response to excessive pressure, friction, irritation or an injury to one of the foot nerves as it travels to the toes.
The nerve may become squashed, trapped, ischaemic (meaning there is a reduced flow of blood to the nerve), or stretched. In response, there is swelling and inflammation of the nerve and a lump, known as a neuroma, may grow around the nerve.
There are a number of things that increase the risk of developing mortons neuroma:
The common symptoms of mortons neuroma are:
The symptoms of mortons neuroma are usually felt between the 3rd and 4th toes, sometimes between the 2nd & 3rd toes and only occasionally between the 1st & 2nd or 4th & 5th toes
The symptoms of mortons neuroma are unlikely to settle without appropriate treatment.
If the symptoms of mortons neuroma have not settled after three months of treatment, then your doctor may advise surgery. There are a couple of options:
Mortons neuroma is just one of the possible causes of tingling and numbness in the feet. There are a number of other conditions that can affect the nerves of the foot and produce similar symptoms. You can find out more in the foot nerve pain section.
If your only symptom is toe pain, then again, there may be something different going on. Visit the toe joint pain section to find out what else could be wrong if the information here on mortons neuroma isn't sound quite like your pain.
Page Last Updated: 13/12/18
Next Review Due: 13/12/20