NEUROMAS: A FREQUENT CAUSE OF FOOT PAIN
Are you suffering from episodic or chronic pain in the ball of your foot?
People who experience foot pain may sometimes be told they have a stress
fracture or bone bruise, when in fact the cause is a neuroma. An enlarged
nerve between the third and fourth toes, neuromas develop over time and
cause a sharp shooting pain radiating from the ball of the foot. Some
people liken the pain to a red-hot poker being stuck into their foot.
In extreme cases, the pain can radiate from the ball of the foot all the
way up the back of the leg.
What causes a neuroma? The condition is more prevalent in people with flat
feet, and women are especially prone to developing neuromas because tight
shoes and high heels contribute to the problem. Over time, the nerve becomes
inflamed and enlarged. Changing to less constrictive footwear can help.
Icing the problem area and cortisone injections can also provide relief.
This is especially true if the pain has only persisted for a few months.
If the pain endures for longer than a few months and some people live years
with the condition–surgery may be necessary. The operation involves
removing the affected nerve and usually provides a permanent solution
to the condition. Of the patients I see with neuromas that have lasted
longer than three or four months, 20 percent of the men and 75 percent
of the women will require surgery. In most cases, patients who have the
surgery are back on their feet in three days, and to full activities within
two-to-three weeks, following the procedure.
The good news is this: you don’t need to suffer with foot pain. If
you suspect you may have a neuroma, be sure to seek the attention of a