What is a Neuroma?

A neuroma is a painful condition which affects the nerves in the ball of the foot. The condition is also referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor. It is often caused by a benign growth of nerve tissue usually found between the third and fourth toes. It can cause a burning sensation, tingling, pain, and numbness between these toes and in the ball of the foot. Patients describe it as feeling like there is a stone in their shoe. The condition is more prevalent in women. 


What Causes a Neuroma?

The exact cause is unknown but many factors can contribute to the development of the condition including:

  • High-arched feet or flatfeet can cause a neuroma.
  • Injury can cause damage nerves and cause it to swell.
  • Footwear which squeezes the toes together is problematic.
  • Repeated stress to the area can cause a neuroma or make it worse.


Although the exact causes of neuromas are not completely known, the following preventive steps may help:

  • Make sure your exercise shoes have enough room in the front part of the shoe and that your toes are not excessively compressed.
  • Wear shoes with adequate padding in the ball of the foot.
  • Avoid prolonged time in shoes with a narrow toe box or excessive heel height (greater than two inches).

How are Neuromas Treated?

Treatment options used will depend on how severe the condition is and include:

  • Thick-soled shoes with a wide toe can help milder neuromas.
  • Special padding at the ball of the foot.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease pain and swelling.
  • Custom orthotics can be useful in controlling foot function and can reduce symptoms, preventing worsening of the condition.

Call us at 727-842-9504 to make an appointment. Dr. Zafar will sit down with you and discuss options to proceed with.

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