Morton’s Neuroma

A morton’s neuroma is the thickening of the tissue around one to the nerves that leads to your toes. It can occur between any of the toes but is most common between the 3rd and 4th toes. Compression and chronic irritation of the nerve results in enlargement of the tissue about the nerve. As the nerve becomes larger it will become compressed more readily. A morton’s neuroma may present as sharp shooting pain or numbness in the ball of the foot.


A morton’s neuroma may present as sharp, burning pain radiating out between your toes. The pain often goes away by removing a shoe and rubbing the foot. In some cases numbness is felt beneath the toes and can feel like a bunched up sock. The symptoms typically begin gradually and only occur with certain shoes or activites. As the neuroma increase in size the symptoms worsen and permanent damage may occure.


A morton’s neuroma occurs as a result of chronic irritation and compression of the nerve. Shoes that have too tight of a toe box can cause compression of the nerves in the ball of the foot. High-heeled shoes are one of the most common causes of neuroma in women. High impact sports like running can result in repetitive stress on the ball of the foot leading to injury of the nerve. Individuals with foot deformities like bunions, hammertoes, and flatfeet are at a higher risk for developing a morton’s neuroma.


A diagnosis of a morton’s neuroma is often made by a history and physical exam. X-rays are often performed to rule out other possible causes of pain in the ball of the foot. A diagnostic injection of local anesthetic can also be utilized. An ultrasound or a MRI can be useful in diagnosis of a neuroma with atypical presentation.


Conservative treatment focuses on decreasing the compression of the nerve. A change in shoe gear to a wider toe box is essential. A lower heel height is a must. Modification of high impact sports can also decrease inflammation of the nerve. Accommodative padding to the ball of the foot will aid in separating the metatarsal heads thereby decreasing compression of the nerve. Innersoles with a metatarsal pad work well in decreasing compression of the nerve. If over the counter products do not decrease compression on the nerve adequately a custom orthotic can be fabricated. Steroid injections are beneficial in decreasing inflammation of the nerve.

In individuals who do not respond to conservative therapy surgery may be indicated. Injection therapy using denatured alcohol is a minimally invasive technique to destroy the nerve. In some cases the neuroma must be surgically removed.

*For products to treat a morton’s neuroma we recommend

*If you are experiencing sharp, burning or numb like pain in the ball of your foot, please call our office (numbers below) or fill out the contact form and we will contact you.


I suffered with chronic heel pain for over a year. I finally went to see Dr. Fritz who examined me and performed X-rays on the same visit. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. After a course of physical therapy, a cortisone shot and a pair of custom orthotics I’m able to walk pain free again.

- Jeff C.

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