Last week I introduced Morton’s neuromas (inflamed nerve tissue at the ball of the foot). In the spirit of National Foot Health Awareness Month, I will continue discussing this relatively common podiatric condition.
Your podiatrist, like those in Advanced Foot Care, will most likely begin with conservative treatment if they diagnose a neuroma. If the increased pressure between the third and fourth toes at the ball of the foot is due to a biomechanical abnormality, orthotics may correct the motion and alleviate the pressure on that nerve. Other options include padding, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or steroid injections. The success rate using conservative treatment is 80%.
Another treatment option is called sclerosing injections. As opposed to simply injecting steroid to calm down the inflammation, sclerosing injections use a chemical that actually destroys the neuroma. The downfall of this treatment is that it is not a quick fix. The patient must return to the clinic to receive a series of injections (not just one and done like a steroid shot).
Those who fail conservative care may require surgery. Surgical treatment has a success rate of 93%. Traditionally, the podiatrist would make a small incision on the bottom of the foot and dissect down to the nerve. Once exposed, the inflamed neuroma can be removed and the incision closed. Recently, some surgeons have made the switch to the dorsal approach, which means they make the initial incision on the top of the foot to avoid scarring on the weight bearing surface.
A surgical option used much less commonly is called nerve decompression. Some feel the root cause of a neuroma is from impingement of the nerve by a ligament that runs across the ball of the foot. Cutting this ligament takes the pressure off the nerve and therefore treats the neuroma.
Make an appointment with Advanced Foot Care if you experience a burning, tingling pain your feet by calling Dr. Wilkins at 706-259-6882. It could be a neuroma, and Advanced Foot Care`s foot and ankle specialists will find a treatment that is right for you.
Written by: Dr. Wilkins
1716 Cleveland Hwy # 104