If you’re experiencing pain, tingling, or numbness in your toes or at the ball of your foot, it may be caused by a neuroma. The providers at Lincoln Park Podiatry, with locations in the Chicago communities of Lincoln Park and Lakeview, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating neuromas. They often recommends a quick and minimally invasive surgical technique using the KobyGard™ system. Call for your appointment today or use their convenient online scheduling service.
A neuroma in your foot — often called Morton’s neuroma — is the enlargement of a nerve commonly found between the bases of the second and third toes at the ball of the foot. As the nerve enlarges and is “pinched” by ligaments and other structures in your foot, it becomes irritated. Some patients describe the discomfort as feeling like there’s a stone in their shoe while others report numbness in the toes or the ball of the foot, burning pain, or an uncomfortable electric sensation in the area. The symptoms typically occur while you’re walking and may decrease when you massage or rub the painful area.
While it’s not really clear what causes a neuroma, various conditions can increase your risk of developing one, including:
Structural issues such as a highly arched or flat foot can also cause formation of a neuroma by creating instability in the toe joints. Wearing shoes with heels higher than two inches also increases your risk.
Sometimes neuromas are linked to physical stress caused by occupations that require significant standing or walking, especially if you regularly wear shoes that squeeze your toes together.
Treatments for this common condition include shoe inserts or padding to relieve pressure on the nerve caused by structural problems. The doctor may recommend oral medication to relieve the inflammation and pain. They may also suggest an injection to the area that decreases inflammation and helps speed the healing process.
If your pain persists after trying conservative measures, they may recommend sclerosing injections. This procedure uses an injection to deliver a substance that actually shrinks and eventually destroys the neuroma without surgery. Vein specialists have used this method for many years to treat problematic varicose veins. It generally requires a series of injections to effectively destroy the neuroma.
The KobyGard procedure is a highly effective, minimally invasive surgical technique that releases the ligament pinching the nerve and leaves the nerve itself intact. The procedure is done through a tiny incision and takes about 10 minutes.
The neuroma reduces in size over a period of a couple of months. The doctor recommends this as an overall healthier approach than any procedure that involves destroying the nerve since it retains sensation between the toes.