The neuroma is a benign condition that affects nerve cells. The nerve cells get thicken and swollen. It usually affects the nerve fibers of the foot. It is small in size like a grape. This condition becomes so painful that it may compel the patient to remove shoes. It is most common in middle-aged women. Its causes include frequent injury to the foot either due to sports or improperly fitted shoes. Its symptoms include pain, numbness, redness, heat, and swelling in the foot. It is often associated with other foot ailments like bunions, flat foot, high arches or hammer toes. It can be managed with medicines and surgery.
Do Neuromas Go Away On Their Own?
Neuroma never goes on its own, it requires medical attention. The recovery from neuroma depends on the type of injury, the severity of the swollen nerve cells and the type of treatment received. 80 % of neuroma gets relieved with conservative treatment which includes avoidance of sports or activities that cause injuries or switching to perfect sized shoes with low heels. Surgical removal of the neuroma or cause of neuroma such as flat foot can relieve 75-80% of the cases. 40-50 % of the patients who have received corticosteroid injections may also improve and may not need further treatment. However, it may reoccur again if injury or trauma is repeated or the right footwear is not used for a longer period of time.
A neuroma is a benign or non-cancerous growth that develops in the nerve cells in any part of the body. The nerve cells are enlarged or swollen. It leads to thickening of the sheath or covering of the nerve. It commonly affects the nerves present in the foot. It develops in third or fourth toes. Neuromas are usually painful and it causes significant discomfort to the patient. It develops more commonly in middle-aged people especially women.
Causes Of Neuroma
The main cause of neuroma is trauma or injury to the foot. The intensity of trauma can be minor or major. It can be of an acute or chronic type. Acute type of injury is caused by a slight twisting of feet while walking or stepping on something. This injury can be either minor or major type leading to the damage to the nerve cells. A chronic injury is induced by repeated micro trauma to the nerve cells due to excessively flat foot. It can be caused by repetitive injuries in sports like running, racquet sports or skiing.
The onset of symptoms of neuroma happens sometime after the actual trauma. The injury might have happened due to two or more months before the formation of the neuroma. However, the cause and symptoms are correlated. The type of shoes worn does not directly cause this condition but they can increase the intensity of its symptoms. Too tight or too high heeled shoes may trigger irritation in the nerve cells. With the passing time, nerve cells become thicken and swollen. It can be associated with other abnormalities of the foot such as bunions or hammertoes or high arches.
Symptoms Of Neuroma
The person with neuroma may have the following symptoms-
- A neuroma is small in size like a small grape.
- It causes discomfort in the feet while moving.
- The patient may feel numbness or tingling in the affected area.
- He may also experience a burning sensation.
- It is painful.
- Its pain may radiate to adjacent fingers.
- The neuroma is usually formed in third or fourth digit of the foot.
- It does not show symptoms of inflammation such as redness, heat or loss of range of motion.
A neuroma is a medical condition of nerve cells where they are irritated and inflamed. This happens due to repetitive injury to the nerve cells. It commonly affects nerve fibers of the foot. It needs medical treatment and it does not go away on their own.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mortons-neuroma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351935
- American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-big-toe/Pages/Mortons-Neuroma.aspx
- Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17349-mortons-neuroma
- NHS. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mortons-neuroma/
- MedlinePlus. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007265.htm
- OrthoInfo – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2021). Morton’s Neuroma https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/mortons-neuroma