Mechanism and cause of Morton's neuroma.

Morton’s neuroma is caused by the abnormal thickening of a nerve that runs between the toe bones. The nerve is therefore compressed on each side by the metatarsal bones, causing pain in the ball of the foot which can radiate to one or two toes.



What are the Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

This pain typically feels like an electric shock or a burning sensation and is triggered by putting weight on the foot. Morton’s neuroma can also sometimes cause numbness in one of the toes. The symptoms can be made worse by wearing tight shoes as they increase the compression on the nerve.

Morton's syndrome or Morton's disease.

How is Morton’s Neuroma Diagnosed?

An MRI or ultrasound is used to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the location of the neuroma. Foot X-rays may be ordered to rule out other bone disorders.




What are the Treatment Options for Morton’s Neuroma?

Conservative treatment

Mild-to-moderate cases of Morton’s neuroma can be managed by conservative treatment. Early treatment is the key to relief pain.

This treatment involve:

  • resting your foot rest and applying ice
  • taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • wearing an insole in your shoe which takes pressure off the painful area and relieves the compression on the nerve
  • Wearing low-heeledUp to 5cm ie. 2 inches. and broader shoes
  • occasionally, a steroid injection may be required

If these measures fail, surgery may need to be considered.


This involves relieving the pressure on the nerve by cutting a ligament above the nerve. The operation is performed under general or loco-regional anaesthetic and involves a small incision being made on the top of the foot.

Weight bearing is allowed immediately after the procedure but rest and time off work are also necessary. Dressings must be worn for 10 to 15 days. Finally, pain medication, keeping your foot elevated and applying ice packs to the wound should keep postoperative pain to a minimum.

In the event of a major compression, nerve release would be unlikey successful. Nerve resectionNeurectomy would be proposed. This does not change recovery.