Update on my Morton’s Neuroma – Scheduled for Surgery!

This post will only be of interest to anyone else suffering from Morton’s Neuroma. I hope it (and the entries that follow) will be of interest. Otherwise, move along, nothing to see here!

2014-01-16 08.11.46Back in 2010 I wrote a post about my Morton’s Neuroma. It started as some mild discomfort in the ball of my foot, very quickly became quite uncomfortable and then very painful to walk on, and then my second and third toes started to part company, leaving my foot making a permanent V-sign. The doctor had never seen anything like it before but thought it was a Morton’s Neuroma. This is not quite as scary as it is – it’s not a neuroma (lump) at all, but an inflammation of the nerve that runs between the toe bones. It normally happens between toes 3 and 4 but can also affect toes 2 and 3. It’s not known what causes a Morton’s Neuroma but everything I read suggested it was down to footwear – high heels and narrow shoes. That confused me, because I have never worn high heels – I genuinely can’t, I can’t walk in them! – and I normally wear flat, wide toed shoes. anyway, an ultrasound scan confirmed that I had not one but two Morton’s Neuromas in my left foot – one large one between toes 2 and 3, and a smaller one between 3 and 4. I had a cortisone injection, which relieved the problem, but sadly the effects were only temporary and about a year later the neuroma was again causing me a lot of pain. A second cortisone injection followed – it was incredibly painful to endure, and this time the effects only lasted around six months. I got to the stage where I started avoiding walking where I could … And then my toe started curling up, and a trip back to the doctor was called for!

I was referred to the Nuffield Orthaepedoc Hospital in Oxford last July and saw the lovely Mr Lavis, who arranged an X ray for my foot. It showed that my toes are much closer together than they should be – so developing Morton’s Neuromas was a done deal really because of my natural physiology. He also said that the cortisone injections had actually done some damage to my foot. The protective sheath around the bones in toe 2 had been destroyed, causing the bones to rub together and toe 2 to move as far right as it could to find some space – resulting in a hammer toe! At the time I was having a lot of pain from my bent toe rubbing on my shoe, and the doctor said I could have surgery to correct the problem – but it would involve filing the bone down, pinning it all back together and the recovery time would be around 4 months! All sounded a bit drastic, and there was a concern about anaesthetic risks as I’m a big girl, so I was adviced to go away and think about it and come back in six months.

The return appointment was yesterday and over the months I have got used to the hammer toe, it’s not such a problem – but the Morton’s Neuroma has got much worse. I experience shooting pains in my toes daily, my foot is often swollen and walking is uncomfortable at best and downright painful at worst, so I avoid it when I can. I haven’t lost any weight, I want to get fitter but when just a few steps brings on the pain it’s proving difficult. So I told the consultant all this and said I knew surgery to remove the damaged nerve was a possibility. He suggested another cortisone jab – on the grounds that it can’t really make my deformed toe any worse – but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having steroid injections every few months, and I can’t see it being a permanent solution when the two I’ve already had have been a short term measure. So he seed that surgery is the best option. Basically the top of my foot will be cut open and the inflamed section of nerve removed. I’ll have some numbness in my foot as a result, but hopefully I’ll be a ble to walk without pain once it’s all healed. A quick check of my BMI (a scarily high number – but fortunately well below the threshold for surgery) later and I’m on the list for Morton’s Neuroma surgery in late spring. Watch this space for updates on the operation and my recovery!

 

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10 thoughts on “Update on my Morton’s Neuroma – Scheduled for Surgery!”

  1. Hi I stumbled across your page about your Mortons Neuroma which I think I have. I went to the Podiatrist today and he doesn’t think it is Mortons Neuroma. My foot looks exactly the same as yours, same toes involved and same V which wasn’t there before. How did you get on with your operation? Have you had it yet, I would be interested to hear about it.
    Michelle

  2. Thanks for the comment – and good luck getting your foot problem sorted. I am now two weeks post-surgery and have written quite a lot about the operation and my recovery! Have a look at and you’ll find all the posts.

  3. Hi Alison, I have read your blog and found it interesting because I think I have a Moreton’s neuroma between the second and third toe on my left foot. I have been waiting ages (since July or August to see someone to get a diagnosis. My toes have parted similar to yours and I now have a hammer toe on my second toe. I think I may also have a Moreton’s neuroma on my right foot, but that is not so painful and the toes are only slightly parted. I have joint hypermobility and wonder if this could have caused the neuromas.

    I am wondering how you are now after nearly a year since your surgery?

  4. Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear about your own toe problems! Not sure what caused my neuromas but the consultant said my feet are just physiologically quite narrow so it was almost inevitable that something would happen at some stage. I’m pleased to report that a year on my foot is doing very well. I can walk without pain and the scar is very small and healed well. The gap between my toes and the hammer toe hasn’t changed, which is a shame (there was a possibility there might be some visual improvement after surgery) but I’m used to my ugly foot now. The inside of toes two and three are permanently numb which takes some getting used to, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to walk pain-free!

  5. Hi Alison

    I just had injections for a Morton’s Neuroma a few hours ago and am waiting to see if the pain has gone (even reduced would be an improvement). Thank you for posting your experiences as looking at the picture of your poor foot I realised that I had the same thing, so it was no surprise when they diagnosed a neuroma (I have the same V-sign). You say in your toes are numb after your operation but you have no pain – that’s great. How long did it take you to recover after your operation? I am such a wimp but I am so fed up with the pain that I have – if it does not subside I am wondering if it is the best option. Would you recommend having it removed? Was it really unpleasant?
    Also I was wondering do you have to wear support in your shoes? I am not very good with computers (it was manual typewriters when I was at school) You say you have written about your recovery but can’t seem to find this. I used to enjoy walking holidays but fear these are a thing of the past.

    Good luck with your continuing recovery.
    Kindest Regards
    Tracey

  6. Tracey, I will be interested to hear how much, if any, improvement the injection gives you. Was the injection itself painful? I have my appointment with the podiatrist at the hospital next week!

  7. Hi Tracey, thanks for leaving a comment and I hope the injection has helped – I had a couple of cortisone injections before deciding on surgery and while they did help with the pain temporarily, they actually damaged my toes and led me to end up with a hammer toe!

    I guess it probably took a good three months to heal fully, though I was driving and getting back to normal activities after 6 weeks. We went on holiday to Lanzarote in July and there was one day where I did a lot of walking and my foot swelled up to the extent I couldn’t put a shoe on and I also couldn’t put any weight on it. I was really worried I’d done something to trash the good work of the operation, but fortunately the next day it was fine and I’ve not experienced anything like that since.

    One thing I did have for a long time was a kind of electric shock feeling if I stood on a stone or bobble in the pavement, which was quite disconcerting. The consultant referred me to the orthotics department who said they could make an insole for me, but U decided to give it a while more (thish was only 6 weeks post-op) and after about 6 months the weird feeling stopped and I only get it very occasionally now.

    I’m now almost a year on from surgery and I’m so glad I went for it! Although my foot will never be perfect I no longer have the burning or shooting pains and it’s lovely knowing I won’t be in agony every time I get stuck in a traffic jam and have to use the clutch a lot! I’m also able to walk quite long distances now. The only issue I really have is with my choice of shoes, but that’s more due to the hammer toe – many styles of shoe rub on the raised toe and are unbearable to wear. But as I’ve always been a comfy shoe person it’s not an issue really. Also my foot can become a bit swollen if I’ve done a lot of walking or standing around. And of course I still have the numbness on the inside of toes 2 and 3, which is permanent, as a result of the nerve removal. Sometimes it still catches me by surprise, catching a thread from a sock or a bit of the duvet between my toes still feels very weird!

    I guess I should have done more follow up blog posts but once I was up and walking again I kind of forgot about it! Anyway, there are about half a dozen posts on here, from when it was diagnosed to 4 weeks post-op … you can find them all at

  8. http://www.alisonmthompson.co.uk/tag/mortons-neuroma
  9. Good luck with your treatment.
    Alison

  10. I had two cortisone injections before opting for surgery. The first was bearable, the second was very unpleasant as I could feel the needle being moved around inside my foot! The first gave me total relief for about 9 months, the second only for about 6 months – and in fact it actually damaged the sheath protecting the toe and made it a hammer toe. Can’t recommend surgery enough as a permanent solution.

  11. Thank you for your reply Alison. I have found your blog about your story and experiences very informative. Also, the photo of your foot has really made me think that this is what I have. Hopefully I will get a diagnosis next Thursday. Were you told on your first visit that you had a Moreton’s neuroma? I suspect that they will use ultrasound next week to see what is going on. My second toe is already becoming a hammer toe without having any injections! I have read of alcohol and other injections being tried on people. I wonder if they are worth trying before resorting to surgery.

    I have had two spinal operations and had been attributing all the electric shocks, burning and stabbing in and around my toes to compressed nerves in my spine. It was only on a holiday where we were doing a lot of walking around doing sightseeing that I realised that there was a problem actually in my foot.

    I so agree with you about waiting in lines of traffic and using the clutch repeatedly causing increased pain. I will let you know how I get on at the hospital next week.

  12. Good luck next week. My GP was pretty sure it was a Morton’s Neuroma (even though he’d never seen one before!) so the first hospital visit was to confirm it via ultrasound. Once the results were back I was referred for an appointment to discuss treatment and had an Xray, and then was called back on another day for a cortisone jab. Second time, the doctor referred me back and there was no messing around waiting, they did the cortisone injection on the same day as my referral appointment. it did help, but not long term.

    here’s a treat for you – I was a bit worried about the scarring but almost a year on it’s almost invisible (though obviously I’ll always have gammy toes!).

    Morton's Neuroma scar one year one

    Good luck with your appointment. I have read about alcohol being used to freeze the inflammation … might be worth investigating!

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