Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma

Do you sometimes feel like there’s a strong shooting pain underneath your foot when you go for a walk?

Do your feet feel worse when walking with high heels or narrow work shoes?

Is the pain often hard to explain, or inconsistent?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you may be suffering from a condition called Morton’s Neuroma.

What is a Morton’s Neuroma?

This condition is a common foot injury that affects many people.

It is a thickening of the plantar nerve in between the 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th metatarsal phalangeal joints (as seen in the image below of the swollen nerve).

Neuromas can also be present between the other metatarsal phalangeal joints but are less common.


What are its causes?


Morton’s Neuroma can be more common in people with hypermobile feet, feet with Hallux Valgus contributing to poor foot function, footwear (tight and narrow shoes) and repetitive stress to the ball of the foot.

Common activities can include, dancing, running, walking basketball, netball and tennis.

This condition is more common in females compared to males, especially for those who are 45-55 years old.

Common symptoms:

Sharp or shooting pain

Burning sensation

Feels like a stone/pebble is underneath the ball of foot

Swelling and redness

Pins and needles or numbness

Feels worse when walking, running or playing sports

How do we assess the feet?

Performing a range of clinical assessments is important to assist with diagnosing this injury. Podiatrists can perform the following tests in the clinic:

Non-weight bearing and weight bearing assessments such as foot joint range of motions and muscle testing.

Mulder’s sign – squeezing the foot and pressing between the balls of the foot to replicate the symptoms.

Gait analysis – observing someone walk and run.

Footwear assessment.

The condition can also be diagnosed using imaging such as Ultrasound and MRI.

How do I manage this?

As podiatrists we always aim to make sure that the person remains active, pain free, and that their goals are achieved.

Mortons Neuroma is a complex injury. The recommended conservative treatment options include footwear adjustments, more specifically assessing and discussing appropriate footwear options.

Taping and orthotic therapy to reduce loading through the forefoot.

Foot strengthening and functional rehabilitation to the foot, ankle and lower limb.



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