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Family Foot & Ankle

Morton’s Neuroma - Understanding the Pain

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Greater Cincinnati is a great place to raise a family, and there are plenty of wonderful toy stores around to prove it. The return trip from King Arthur’s Court in Oakley or Ted’s Toys in Madeira may make your kids happy, but you might be adding a hazard to your floor. If they leave their playthings around, you probably know what it’s like to step on a marble or a small plastic brick. What if that feeling of stepping on a marble never went away? If you’re experiencing persistent, mysterious ball of foot pain, the culprit probably isn’t a small toy, but could be Morton’s neuroma, a potentially painful condition that affects the nerve leading to your toes.

The first thing to understand about Morton’s neuroma pain is that heightened pressure on the area over a long period of time, or even a sudden trauma, can cause the tissues to thicken and press against the nerve. When that happens, its feel like a pebble is caught in your shoe, even when you’re walking barefoot. Over time it may progress to a sharp, stinging pain or lead to numbness in the toes.

The second thing to understand about Morton’s neuroma pain is that it affects women much more frequently than men—perhaps 10 times more. There’s a simple explanation: women wear high heels and are much more likely to have narrow, pointy shoes that cram toes together. These kinds of footwear choices squeeze the nerve and can damage it over time. Switching to wider, roomier shoes with soft soles can make a big difference to nerve problems.

The last and most important thing to understand about neuroma pain? You don’t have to keep living with it. Our doctors are experts at handling this uncomfortable condition. Whether you need a custom orthotic to relieve painful pressure on the nerve, ultrasound-guided injections to reduce pain and swelling in the affected joint, or just a little icing and rest, we will help you devise a treatment plan that’s right for you. Ultimately, surgery may be a possibility, but the good news is that for most patients conservative treatments are more than enough.

Call Family Foot and Ankle to set up an appointment today at one of our six area offices. You can reach us at (513) 728-4800; Northern Kentucky residents dial (859) 282-1572.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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