Morton neuroma is an inflammation and scarring of a nerve in the foot that goes to the toes. Surgical treatment involves removing the area of inflammation and the nerve.
Morton neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Morton neuroma removal is done to lessen these symptoms when other treatment has not helped. After the removal, most people have pain relief.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
You doctor may do the following:
Local or general anesthesia will be used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.
A small incision will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two toes that are affected by the neuroma. The area of inflammation and the nerve will be located and removed. The end of the nerve will be attached to a toe tendon. Sometimes, the ligament between the involved foot bones is cut to prevent pressure on the area. The incision will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be applied over the area.
Nerves of the Foot
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The removed tissue will be examined in a lab. The results may take several days.
Less than 1 hour
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
If there were no complications, you may be able to leave the same day.
You will have to restrict activity while recover. This may take 3-6 weeks. Home care may include:
The small area where the nerve was removed is likely to remain numb.
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
American Podiatric Medical Association
College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 29, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2016.
Morton's neuroma. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00158. Updated September 2012. Accessed May 10, 2016.
Thomson CE, Gibson JN, Martin D. Interventions for the treatment of Mortons neuroma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2004;CD003118.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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