Even gotten a rock stuck between your foot and your sandal, or an annoying fold in a sock too quickly shoved into a tight shoe? Having a Morton’s neuroma is kind of like that, except all the time. Injury or stress causes a small, swollen mass to form under your skin, near a nerve in the ball of your foot. You may not be able to see it, but you’ll feel it pressing with each step you take.
The bad news: because the condition is progressive, once the bump is there, it doesn’t go away without surgery. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go under the knife, though, as more conservative treatments may be successful in helping you eliminate the discomfort without removing the mass itself.
The decision of whether or not to undergo surgery for your neuroma is a conversation you must make with your foot surgeon—what we say in a blog can only give you a rough guideline. However, we usually begin discussing surgery if conservative treatments have been exhausted and you are still experiencing difficulty.
The exact surgical procedure selected will depend on a number of factors, and is typically done as an outpatient procedure. You’ll select an anesthetic option (local is all that’s really needed, though we can provide general anesthesia if you’d prefer it) and we’ll make the incision, usually on the top of the foot above the neuroma. Broadly speaking, there are two main procedural options:
- Decompression surgery, which involves simply cutting a few ligaments or surrounding soft tissues to reduce pressure on the nerve.
- Surgical removal of the Morton’s neuroma.
Remember that, while surgery is successful in the vast majority of cases, there are always associated risks, including infection, recurrence, and numbness (sometimes permanent) in the affected toes. You will also need to be able to “take it easy” for the full recovery period (usually 3-6 weeks) and follow all your doctor’s instructions for post-operative care so you can heal as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
If you’re suffering from a painful Morton’s neuroma and want to discuss your treatment options with a professional, please call the podiatry office of Dr. Harvey Danciger today at 760-568-0108. You can also request an appointment online.