Morton neuroma is painful thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves in the foot. 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. It is used when other treatments have not helped.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Excess bleeding
- Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
- Pain returns
- Numbness in the nearby toes
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia options
- Any allergies you may have
- Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
- Tests that will need to be done before surgery, such as images
The doctor may give:
- General anesthesia—you will be asleep
- Local anesthesia—the area will be numbed
Description of Procedure
A small cut will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two affected toes. The area of swelling and the nerve will be removed. The end of the nerve will be attached to a toe tendon. Sometimes, an area between the involved foot bones is cut. This is to prevent pressure on the area. The cut will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be placed over the area.
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How Long Will It Take?
Less than 1 hour
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help manage pain. .
Average Hospital Stay
If there are no problems, you may be able to leave the same day.
At the Care Center
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicines.
It will take a few weeks for the incision to heal. It can take up to 12 months for a full recovery. Physical activity may need to be limited during recovery. You may need to wear special shoes for a period of time.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
- Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision
- Pain that you cannot control with medicine
- Problems that return
- New or worsening symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
American Podiatric Medical Association
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta
Di Caprio F, Meringolo R, Shehab Eddine M, Ponziani L. Morton's interdigital neuroma of the foot: A literature review. Foot Ankle Surg. 2018 Apr;24(2):92-98
Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/morton-neuroma. Accessed December 14, 2020.
Morton's neuroma. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00158. Accessed December 14, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 12/15/2020