A neuroma is an agitation of the nerve, most commonly between the second and third or third and forth toes. This condition is usually caused by improperly fitting shoes that squeeze the toes together, thus pinching the nerve between the bones. If a neuroma is present, it may feel like stepping on a cord or as if your sock is bunched-up. Other symptoms include burning, tingling, cramping or numbness. The pain may radiate from the tips of your toes, through your ankle, into your thigh and into your lower back (sciatic pain).
Through an examination, your podiatrist can determine if symptoms are a neuroma or some other foot problem. Treatment for neuromas may include shoe changes, custom orthotics (arch supports), ultrasound therapy, medication or surgery.
What to do?
Once symptoms are recognized, proper medical care should be obtained as soon as possible to minimize the likelihood of permanent nerve damage.
If conservative care does not help, an innovative surgical procedure which decompresses the nerve may be necessary. This procedure is very similar to carpal tunnel release in the wrist. This technique allows for a quicker recovery and a faster return to normal activity than traditional surgical techniques. Specially designed instrumentation is used to isolate the intermetatarsal ligament allowing the surgeon to directly visualize the foot structures on a video screen through two small 1/4 inch incisions on the foot. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting. Patients can usually bear weight immediately after surgery and return to athletic shoes the next day.