Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Morton Neuroma Removal

Definition

Morton neuromais swelling and scarring of a nerve in the foot that goes to the toes. Surgery removes the area of swelling and the nerve.

Reasons for Procedure ^

Morton neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Surgery is done to ease these symptoms when other treatment has not helped. After the removal, most people have pain relief.

Possible Complications ^

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some of these problems, like:

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

Some factors that may raise the risk of problems include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating poorly
  • Long term health problems, such as diabetes
  • Use of certain medicines
  • Bleeding problems

What to Expect ^

Prior to Procedure

You doctor may use prior tests to understand the location of the surgery.

Anesthesia

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

Description of Procedure

A small cut 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 swelling and the nerve will be found and removed. The end of the nerve will be attached to a toe tendon. Sometimes, the ligament between the involved foot bones is cut to prevent pressure on the area. The cut will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the area.

Nerves of the Foot
Foot Anatomy Nerve and muscle

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After Procedure

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

How Long Will It Take?

Less than 1 hour

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain after surgery can be eased with medicines.

Average Stay

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

Post-procedure Care

When you are home:

  • Limit activity. This may be for three to six weeks.
  • Do exercises as advised to stay flexible and strong.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Call Your Doctor ^

Call your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you have problems such as:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or leaking from the cut
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
  • Return 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:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114041/Morton-neuroma. Updated June 8, 2016. Accessed July 27, 2018.

Morton's neuroma. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00158. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 27, 2018.

Thomson CE, Gibson JN, Martin D. Interventions for the treatment of Mortons neuroma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2004;CD003118.

Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD  Last Updated: 7/27/2018