What’s a neuroma of the foot?
Neuroma is one of those terms that sounds like it could be something really bad – maybe because a lot of similar-sounding words do indicate a serious medical condition, like “sarcoma,” “melanoma,” and “carcinoma,” which are all associated with cancerous growths. Neuromas are growths, but not cancerous ones. They usually form between the third and fourth toes, a result of irritation of the nerve and surrounding tissue there.
Is it a tumor?
Technically, yes, a neuroma is a tumor, but it’s a benign one (non-cancerous). Sometimes you’ll hear a neuroma referred to as a “nerve tumor” or even a “pinched nerve.”
How did I get a neuroma?
A neuroma forms when a nerve is irritated, usually as a result of any one or more of the following:
- Injury – any sort of trauma, such as stubbing, to the toes
- Repeated stress
- Physical deformity of the toes
- Constant squeezing of the toes from narrow or poorly-fitting shoes
How do I know I have a neuroma?
Neuromas are quite painful. You might feel like there’s something stuck under your skin that you’d just like to reach in and pull out. You may have burning or tingling in the ball of your foot. There could be swelling. If the growth is large, there may be a visible lump.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms between your third and fourth toes, get them professionally checked out. Our podiatrists, Heidi M. Christie, DPM and Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, can examine your foot and make a definitive diagnosis right here in our Montgomery office. There’s no need to suffer in silence!
Will it go away on its own?
It’s not a good idea to let a neuroma be. Left on its own, it’ll most likely get worse.
What can a podiatrist do?
Dr. Day-Houts and Dr. Christie have extensive experience with the treatment of neuromas. We’re happy to say that neuromas can often be treated without surgery. We can recommend
- Different shoes that offer better support
- Avoiding high heels
- Adding a custom orthotic insert to your shoes
- Taping or padding the ball of your foot
- Over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain and swelling
- Physical therapy
- Injecting the nerve directly to permanently numb the area
For a comprehensive plan to manage your neuroma, contact us online or give us a call at (334) 396-3668.