Morton's Neuroma Removal

Definition

Morton's neuroma is an inflammation of a nerve in the foot that goes to the toes. Surgical treatment involves removing the area of inflammation and the nerve.

Reasons for Procedure    TOP

Morton's neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Morton's neuroma removal is done to lessen these symptoms. After the removal, most people have pain relief.

Possible Complications    TOP

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Recurrence of pain
  • Numbness in the nearby toes
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition
  • Long-term illness
  • Use of certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders

What to Expect    TOP

Prior to Procedure

You doctor may do the following:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • MRI scan of the foot

Anesthesia

Local or general anesthesia will be used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.

Description of Procedure    TOP

A small incision will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two toes that are affected by the neuroma. The area of inflammation and the nerve will be located and removed. Sometimes, the ligament between the involved foot bones is cut to prevent pressure on the area. The incision will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be applied over the area.

Nerves of the Foot

Foot Anatomy Nerve and muscle
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

After Procedure    TOP

The removed tissue will be examined in a lab. The results may take several days.

How Long Will It Take?    TOP

Often less than one hour

How Much Will It Hurt?    TOP

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.

Average Stay    TOP

If there were no complications, you may be able to leave the same day.

Post-procedure Care    TOP

You will have to restrict activity while recover. This may take 3-6 weeks. Home care may include:

  • Caring for the surgical wound
  • Using compression or ice
  • Keeping your foot elevated
  • Exercises to maintain flexibility and strength

The small area where the nerve was removed is likely to remain numb.

Call Your Doctor    TOP

It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the care center. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
  • Recurrence of the symptoms in your foot, or new, unexplained symptoms

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES:

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
http://www.acfas.org
American Podiatric Medical Association
http://www.apma.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta
http://www.albertapodiatry.com
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
http://www.podiatrycanada.org

References:

Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 16, 2014. Accessed May 29, 2014.
Mortons neuroma. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' OrthoInfo website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated September 2012. Accessed May 29, 2014.
Thomson CE, Gibson JN, Martin D. Interventions for the treatment of Mortons neuroma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2004;CD003118.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 5/29/2014