Your nervous system has two main parts – the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is comprised of your brain and spinal column, and is responsible for processing information collected by the network of nerves making up the peripheral nervous system. These peripheral nerves are responsible for relaying sensory information back to the brain.
When everything is running smoothly, it’s easy to take this all for granted, but sometimes problems do arise in the nervous system. One example of this is Morton’s neuroma, which can cause nerve pain in the front of your foot. Recognizing the symptoms and knowing the causes behind these neuromas is important for understanding when to seek treatment here at Advanced Foot and Ankle in Twin Falls, ID.
Nerve Pain in the Front of Your Foot
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue or around a nerve, thereby compressing it and disrupting normal sensory communication. In the case of Morton’s neuroma, the affected nerve is the one between the third and fourth toes.
With a Morton’s neuroma, there is no outward appearance indicating the condition (like a bump or discoloration). Instead, the symptoms are various sensory experiences. Often, you can recognize this neuroma by the painful burning sensation in your ball of the foot area or tingling in your toes. Another common symptom is the feeling as if you are standing on a nonexistent pebble in your shoe or fold in your sock. In some cases, the neuroma can even cause numbness.
This condition is generally caused by pressure, irritation, or injury to the nerve leading up to the toe. More specifically, though, the neuroma can develop from wearing high-heeled shoes (which place excessive pressure on the forefoot), high-impact sports featuring repetitive trauma (like running or jogging), and certain foot deformities. If you have a bunion, flat feet, abnormally-high foot arches, or a hammertoe condition, you have greater risk.
Neuroma Treatment and Prevention
As you might expect, treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Our hope is to use conservative options to effectively address the problem for you. Nonsurgical options include measures like foot pads, arch supports, and custom orthotic devices. We might have you take certain anti-inflammatory medications, use an icing regimen, take a break from high-impact activities, and switch your footwear to shoes featuring a deep, wide toe box.
When conservative care is insufficient, it is time to explore surgical options. For Morton’s neuroma, this could mean either decompression surgery or nerve removal. In decompression surgery, the goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve that caused the problem in the first place. Removal is generally a final option, since it might cause permanent numbness in the affected toes.
No matter which form of treatment we pursue, it is important to understand that failing to address this medical issue can lead to a permanent condition. Instead, come see us here at Advanced Foot and Ankle, and we will diagnose your condition. We can make sure it is a Morton’s neuroma causing the pain in the front of your foot and provide the care you need to resolve the problem. Contact us by calling (208) 731-6321 to reach our Twin Falls office or (208) 312-4646 to connect with our Burley, ID office. You can also request your appointment online for either of our locations right now.