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by Scholten A

Definition

Morton neuroma is painful thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves in the foot. Surgery removes the area of swelling and the nerve.

Reasons for Procedure

Morton neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Surgery is done to ease these symptoms. It is used when other treatments have not helped.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Pain returns
  • Numbness in the nearby toes

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
  • Tests that will need to be done before surgery, such as images

Anesthesia

The doctor may give:

Description of Procedure

A small cut will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two affected toes. The area of swelling and the nerve will be removed. The end of the nerve will be attached to a toe tendon. Sometimes, an area between the involved foot bones is cut. This is to prevent pressure on the area. The cut will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the area.

Nerves of the Foot
Foot Anatomy Nerve and muscle
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

How Long Will It Take?

Less than 1 hour

Will It Hurt?

Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help manage pain. .

Average Hospital Stay

If there are no problems, you may be able to leave the same day.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center

Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicines.

Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicines.

At Home

It will take a few weeks for the incision to heal. It can take up to 12 months for a full recovery. Physical activity may need to be limited during recovery. You may need to wear special shoes for a period of time.

It will take a few weeks for the incision to heal. It can take up to 12 months for a full recovery. Physical activity may need to be limited during recovery. You may need to wear special shoes for a period of time.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Problems that return
  • New or worsening symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons  http://www.acfas.org 

American Podiatric Medical Association  http://www.apma.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Podiatric Medical Association  http://www.podiatrycanada.org 

College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta  http://www.albertapodiatry.com 

References

Di Caprio F, Meringolo R, Shehab Eddine M, Ponziani L. Morton's interdigital neuroma of the foot: A literature review. Foot Ankle Surg. 2018 Apr;24(2):92-98

Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/morton-neuroma. Accessed December 14, 2020.

Morton's neuroma. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00158. Accessed December 14, 2020.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2020
  • Update Date: 12/15/2020