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Neuromas (Nerve Tumors)
A neuroma is a growth, which is why it’s called a tumor. Neuromas, however, are benign, non-cancerous growths. They’re made of nerve tissues and typically develop between the third and fourth toes of your foot. Your New York foot doctor has many names for a neuroma, including:
- Nerve tumor
- Morton’s neuroma
- Intermetatarsal neuroma
- Pinched nerve
The condition can cause significant pain, no matter what you call it. You’ll feel the pain most severely when you’re walking, although sometimes it even persists even when you get off your feet.
Neuromas should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Symptoms from Neuromas
Neuromas usually bring on the most severe pain while you’re wearing high heels or any shoes that squeeze your toes together. The pain feels like:
- A burning sensation
- A tingling
- Numbness on the balls of your feet
- Swelling between your toes
- Pain in the ball of the foot
- You have a stone in your shoe
- Your socks are bunched up in your shoe
You may feel much better when you stop walking, take your shoes off and rub the soreness between your toes. But a podiatrist in NYC may warn you that failure to properly treat nerve tumors can lead to more serious consequences. For example, they can leave you unable to walk without feeling intense pain.
The pain can spread to include more areas in your foot, making your condition even worse. A neuroma is relatively easy for your New York foot doctor to treat. So if you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, consult a NYC podiatrist.
All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Causes of the Anomaly
Little is known yet about the exact reason you develop painful pinched nerves in that particular spot on your foot. But any good podiatrist in New York City can tell you that continuing to walk on heels that push your toes together into a tiny space doesn’t help. Heels higher than two inches can cause neuromas due to the pressure placed on your toes.
Because of high heels, women are about 10 times more likely to get neuromas than men, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But a number of other causes may contribute to the nerve condition in your toes, including:
- An injury that results in inflammation and swelling in the sensitive nerve area
- Other foot deformities like high arches or flat feet
- Jobs that place constant pressure on your toes
- Hammer toes
- Participation in sports that involve intensive running
- Using an elliptical machine over time
- Playing tennis
Prevention Is Key
Every good podiatrist in Manhattan warns you to save your spiked heels for those rare occasions when you’ll be sitting most of the time and walking very little. In NYC, many women avoid the pressure and health consequences caused by high heels by wearing walking shoes when they travel and carrying their heels in a bag to change into once they reach their destinations.
In addition to wearing shoes with sufficient room for your toes to spread out, avoid foot pain and complications by wearing shoes appropriate for each sport you play. Good athletic shoes should have sufficient padding for the balls of your feet as well as a wide toe box.
Diagnosing a Neuroma
It’s always best to visit a New York foot doctor as soon as you begin to feel foot pain, especially when it comes on more often and seems to get worse despite your home care. During your appointment, podiatrists first visually examine your foot and puts pressure on different places on your foot to help determine the location of your pain.
X-rays can help your foot doctor rule out other causes of your foot pain, such as arthritis or stress fractures. A scan using ultrasound technology or an MRI is required sometimes to definitively diagnose a nerve problem. Once your podiatrist determines that you do have a neuroma, treatment can begin.
Treatment Options Exist
Your New York City foot doctor encourages you to begin preventive and self-care techniques before moving on to more invasive treatments, especially if you’ve caught the condition early enough. A good podiatrist in NYC always tries non-invasive treatments before suggesting more drastic measures. The first steps in self-care for treating Morton’s neuroma include:
- Changing your shoes for more supportive footwear with a wide toe box, sufficient insoles and soles that are shock absorbent. If you wear tied shoes, keep them loosely laced.
- Using ice on the inflamed toe area when it becomes swollen.
- Inserting shoe pads that you can get over the counter to pad your painful toe area.
- Resting more often when you have flare-ups and massaging your hurting toes.
When home care isn’t effective for controlling your pain, your foot doctor may suggest various medications for short, monitored periods of time:
- Local anesthetic cream
- Alcohol sclerosing injections
- Corticosteroid shots
- Oral or injected anti-inflammatory medications
Your foot doctor also may recommend orthotic foot inserts or special shoes designed specifically for the shape of your feet. Inserts like a metatarsal pad take the pressure off your toes, giving them time to heal while you can continue walking when necessary.
Surgery is the last option for treating neuromas, and it typically invokes removing the painful nerve tissue in a procedure called a neurectomy. Another procedure podiatrists in NYC may offer is cryogenic therapy. Cryogenic neuroablation is a process that brings the temperature of your damaged nerve tissues down to negative 50 or 70 degrees Celsius, freezing the errant tissues.
Surgery is effective for treating neuromas 75 to 85 percent of the time. Freezing them almost always results in permanent removal of the neuroma, so they don’t return. Recovery from podiatric surgery typically runs from one to two weeks, after which you should have no trouble walking again pain-free.
You have to play your own part in preventing recurring problems by following the advice of your foot doctor in NY. Choose low heels that your toes will love you for.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Neuromas (Nerve Tumors) treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 687-2930