A neuroma is a painful condition that occurs when the nerve tissue, most often between the third and fourth toes, becomes thickened and a painful growth develops. This is sometimes referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma.
Neuromas are often caused by compression or irritation of the nerve. Tight or ill-fitting shoes, or from repetitive stress placed on the foot, high heels, an injury or foot deformity could lead to neuromas.
If you are suffering from a neuroma, you be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sharp, burning sensation in the ball of foot, especially when walking
- Tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot
- Feel as if there is a rock in your shoe
- A painful lump
Symptoms begin gradually and may subside when removing the shoe and messaging the foot. But the symptoms will become more intense as the neuroma enlarges.
For mild to moderate neuromas, a podiatrist may prescribe:
- Shoe changes
- Padding and taping
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Cortisone injections
To determine if you are suffering from a neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend an x-ray, ultrasound or an MRI in order to evaluate the bone and tissues.
Dr. Regal describes the definition of a neuroma in this video.