A growth or a tumor of the nerves is referred to as a neuroma. Neuromas are called by a variety of other names these days. These are usually benign, meaning they are not cancerous. These may be extremely painful and may cause a great deal of discomfort. The most common type of neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma, which affects the foot of an individual. It usually is seen in between the third toe and the fourth toe space. Though it is not a life-threatening condition, it can be extremely painful.
Can Neuromas Grow Back?
A Morton’s neuroma surgery usually benefits the person. It gives a good pain relief and a respite from other symptoms too. However, in some instances, Morton’s neuroma can grow back, causing almost all neuroma like symptoms again. A repeat surgery can be done, but usually provides no relief. A conservative approach is preferred in such cases of recurrent Morton’s neuroma or stump neuroma.
As the most common type of neuroma is a Morton’s neuroma, we will discuss about whether a Morton’s neuroma can regrow once removed. A Morton’s neuroma, as described above, usually affects the space between the third toe and the fourth toe. It may be removed by a neurectomy which is carried out by approaching the affected nerve from the up side of the foot, taking a cut between the space of the third toe and the fourth toe. The affected nerve and the neuroma is then exposed and carefully extracted. A good number of people with Morton’s neuroma get a recurrent neuroma or many similar symptoms which is due to neuroma stump forming.
Many patients of Morton’s neuroma get a post-surgical pain and end up developing neuroma-like symptoms. It is very essential to follow up with your doctor and follow the protocols recommended by him, in order to minimize the risk of getting pain and neuroma-like symptoms again.
The way the surgical procedure is carried out also plays an important role in the recurrence of neuroma. The expertise of the surgeon in this matter is of equal importance too. If there is a recurrence the symptoms usually start within 3 to 12 weeks after the surgery is done. But, in some cases the symptoms of recurrence may start even after a few months or years.
The symptoms that are classically seen in a recurrent Morton’s neuroma are-
- Pain at the site of the recurrent Morton’s neuroma or the place of stump formation
- There may be a lump or swelling that is palpable. It indicates the formation of an inflammatory swelling
- There may be changes in the sensation in the area involved. Depending upon the nerve that is involved, you may experience hyperesthesia or hypoesthesia
- Excessive walking may result in aggravated pain at the site of recurrent Morton’s neuroma
Measures to be taken on development of a recurrent Morton’s neuroma-
- Generally, the conservative measures do not provide satisfactory relief in case of a recurrent Morton’s neuroma
- Pain relief is inadequate with the use of conservative measures
- Most of the patients find no relief in pain with the use of over the counter pain killers
- However, some relief can be seen by making certain lifestyle changes. These may involve-
- Using low heeled shoes
- Wearing the perfect sized shoes that are comfortable and that have wide area for toes
- Using orthotics like padding, cushioning and arch supports. Using insoles too.
- Physiotherapy may prove to be effective
If the Morton’s neuroma still persists, the use of ultrasound guided ablation procedure may be used
Some of the patients even choose to undergo a repeat surgery for the recurrent Morton’s neuroma
However, the success rate is not very high in such cases and the Morton’s neuroma may recur.
Staying immobilized for a long time after surgery can affect the healing process. Getting proper exercise after the surgery is important for improving the range of motion.