A neuroma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor made of a bundle of nerves located in your foot. Neuromas typically develop between the third and fourth toes, though they can show up in other areas of your foot. Neuromas develop slowly over time as the nerves in your feet are irritated and become thickened until you experience symptoms.
Neuroma Q & A
What does a neuroma feel like?
The most common sign of a neuroma is pain between your toes when you walk or run. You may also feel like there is a pebble in your shoe or something’s stuck inside your sock when you walk or stand. Neuromas can cause a burning sensation in your foot along with numbness and tingling between your toes that extends into the ball of your foot.
What causes neuromas?
The exact cause of neuromas is unknown, though certain factors can lead to the growth of neuromas, including:
Biomechanical deformities in your feet, like flat feet, high arches, or hammertoes
Trauma that causes damage to the nerve in your foot
Improper footwear that causes your toes to be squeezed together
Repeated stress from running, walking, or standing for long periods
These factors put pressure on the nerves in your foot and can lead to inflammation or friction that encourages a neuroma to develop.
How do podiatrists diagnose neuromas?
At Nashville Podiatry, the team first discusses your symptoms with you and then examines the foot with the suspected neuroma. Your provider may press on your foot and move the joints in your foot, which can increase your discomfort. In some cases, your provider may take X-rays of your foot to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as a stress fracture or bony abnormality.
How do podiatrists treat neuromas? Treatment for neuromas rarely requires surgery. Conservative treatments for neuromas include:
Wearing thick-soled shoes with a wide toe box
Padding and taping the ball of the foot to protect the area
Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections
These treatments aim to address the bio-mechanical issues and inflammation that lead to the development of neuromas. If conservative measures aren’t enough or your neuroma is causing severe discomfort, your provider may recommend minor surgery to remove it. Find out if a neuroma is causing the nerve pain in your foot by scheduling an exam online at Nashville Podiatry or calling the office now.