The pressure we put on our feet can cause serious damage beneath the surface. A neuroma is a benign but painful growth on the tissue that surrounds specific nerves in your feet and toes. Dr. Lawrence Maurer, DPM and Dr. Peter M. Vincent, DPM at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine in Kirkland, Washington specialize in the treatment of neuroma, from custom foot supports to surgical options. Neuroma is a serious and painful tissue growth that needs expert care. Use the online booking feature or call our office to schedule an appointment today.
Neuroma is sometimes referred to as a “nerve tumor.” Fortunately, it is benign. It grows on the tissue surrounding the nerve that leads to the area between your third and fourth toes.
The pain from neuroma is felt in between the toes and in the ball of the foot, and can be felt while walking. The toes can either sting and burn, or they can feel numb. The ball of your foot will also experience a burning pain.
Neuroma is also often described as feeling like you have a pebble in your shoe, a bunched up sock, or the feeling of something inside the ball of your foot. In the beginning, the feeling can come and go depending on the shoes you wear. If untreated, the feeling will become permanent and a greater threat to lasting nerve damage.
Neuroma is caused by irritation of and pressure on the nerve. This irritation is linked to high-heeled shoes, which applies an unnatural pressure on the toes and balls of your feet.
The combination of tight-fitting shoes and running or other physical activity can also cause neuroma.
The growth on the tissue of the affected area is not normally visible from the outside of the foot. If you experience that sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, see your doctor. Your doctor will use an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to make a diagnosis.
If you have bunions, hammertoes, high arches, or flat feet, your likelihood of neuroma does increase.
First, wear a shoe that conforms to your foot. Do not wear high heels or a shoe that is too tight or narrow. If you have a high arch or flat feet, wear the appropriate custom support to alleviate any excessive pressure on the nerves in your feet. Foot support can be found over the counter and through prescription.
If you see a doctor, they can give you a steroid injection or recommend surgery. The most severe outcome would be the removal of a nerve that leads to permanent numbness in your toes.