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Morton's Neuroma

This is a painful condition affecting the nerve in the metatarsal area of the foot (commonly known as the 'ball' of the foot), leading to burning sensations, or dull/aching pains. Often it is associated with numbness or pain shooting down to the ends of the toes, or a pins and needles sensation. It is caused by the development of a perineural fibrosis on the nerve supplying the area between either the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal heads, or the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. We do not know for certain what causes it, but certain factors are known to aggravate the symptoms, including wearing high heeled shoes/thin soled shoes
(i.e. leather soled shoes), or narrow shoes.

In many cases the podiatrist will be able to diagnose a Morton's neuroma from the history you present with, but occasionally you may require an MRI scan to diagnose the condition.

Initial treatment includes addressing footwear issues (padded, cushioned shoes are ideal), provision of insoles/orthoses, NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen) and ice.
A corticosteroid injection may be necessary, and if these measures fail, surgery to remove the fibrosis may be recommended.