My Morton’s Neuroma

I’ve been experiencing quite a lot of pain in my left foot over the last few months – pain when I walk, shooting pains in m toes and the ball of my foot and so on. It’s been especially painful when driving as the area affected is right where you push the clutch pedal. When I noticed a strange v’shaped gap between two toes I decided to see the doctor, who said he’d never seen anything like it before but thought it was something called Morton’s Neuroma.

Briefly, a Morton’s Neuroma isn’t a neuroma at all but inflammation of a nerve that runs between the toes. (More details here) The cause is not known but high heeled or narrow shoes are thought to play a part – odd in my case, given that I’ve never worn a pair of heels in my life and tend to wear quite wide flat shoes because I have sticking out little toes!

I was sent for an ultrasound scan and discovered that I have not one but TWO Morton’s Neuromas in my left foot – one large one between toes two and three and another smaller one between the 3rd and 4th toe. The smaller one has probably been caused by the big one – as that has displaced my toes, it’s put pressure on the neighbouring  nerve.

So I was referred to the hospital for treatment and had another scan, an Xray this time, to confirm (again!) the presence of the neuromas. The consultant explained that he could give me a cortisone injection which may reduce the inflammation, though it could take up to three months to take effect. if that doesn’t work he could operate and remove the nerve – but that would leave me with numb toes!

So on Tuesday I went in for a cortisone jab. I was really nervous because I’ve been told that this type of injection is really painful. it wasn’t as bad as I feared though – despite taking me completely by surprise as the needle went between my toes rather than through the ball of my foot, which was what I was expecting! As well as the cortisone there was some local anesthetic in the syringe – it stung like anything for a few seconds, but once the anaesthetic kicked in it was quite uncomfortable and then just weirdly numb. The radiologist who administered the jab said that it could take up to 10 days for it to have an effect.

The numbness wore off after about an hour and my foot ached quite a lot for the rest of the day, and was just as painful to walk on as ever, if not a little more so. The following day it felt like it normally does – painful but no more so than I am used to. However, by day three it was feeling a lot better and now, four days on, most of the time it doesn’t hurt at all to walk on, unless I really put all my weight on the ball of my foot. I’ve had the occasional shooting pain and it aches a little later in the day but generally it is a whole lot better – and for the first time in months it doesn’t hurt to drive!

Fingers crossed these results are permanent – but I’ll keep you posted!

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2 thoughts on “My Morton’s Neuroma”

  1. How is it now? I have had this problem since about 2010 and did receive the cortisone injections. I have never worn heels and have wide flat-ish feet. But I have been driving a standard now for eleven years!! It’s my clutch foot. It just occurred to while I was driving the other day in thin sandals – not a great sole – this could have caused it! I now have pain up through my knee from “walking funny”, trying not to weight bear on the forefoot. I did get cortisone injection in my foot, same as you said, in the front between the toes. I haven’t had an ultrasound – only a bone x-ray. My foot is so sensitive I’m afraid to go for testing. It seems to be connecting itself to even having dry feet – I feel like it might spasm or hurt. The doctor did say it was either a neuroma (the tell-tale click) or perhaps metatarsalgia…………I really want to get back to the land of the living!! I’m okay at most things, but there are many things I won’t/can’t do for long due to foot pain. I wonder if I need to get rid of my standard, get another cortisone injection…………..

  2. Thanks for the message. my foot was also my clutch foot, which made driving very painful, especially when stuck in traffic! Fortunately since the surgery I haven’t had any problems at all, it took about 3-4 months to fully heal and I haven’t looked back. I’ve driven long distances, walked a lot, back to doing everything I want to do without any pain.

    Not sure why your doctor is finding it difficult to know whether it’s MN or metatarsalgia as MN is very easy to spot on either an Xray or ultrasound, the inflamed area between the toes is very visible!

    Personally I wouldn’t want to have too many cortisone injections as in my case, it actually damaged my foot and caused a hammer toe – which isn’t a huge problem in itself but I do have to be careful what shoes I wear so it doesn’t rub, and it does look ugly. But if your foot is as painful as you say I would definitely go back to the doctor, for surgery is a viable option!

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