Morton’s Neuromas

A Neuroma is an enlarged nerve. A Morton's Neuroma, the most common type in the foot, causes intense pain in the ball of the foot that shoots out to the third and fourth toes. Numbness, cramping and tingling in the 3rd or 4th toes is also common. The second and third toes can also be affected.


• The pain is typically worse with standing and walking and is relieved by removing your shoes.

• Some will complain of deep achy pain, others complain of constant burning and cramping.

• There can be radiating pain, tingling pain or numbness.

• Many people will describe the pain as feeling like they are walking on a lump or a ball.


• A neuroma is diagnosed by a podiatrist. Pressing on certain areas of the foot will reproduce the pain. Squeezing the foot together and pushing up under the nerve will, in many cases, yield a positive “Mulder’s Click”. The clicking feeling associated with pain shooting to the toes is diagnostic for a Morton's neuroma.

Common Treatments

• A steroid injection will sometimes help to decrease pain from the inflammation.

• Alcohol injections (also called nerve sclerosing).

• Wider shoes, accommodative shoe inserts or prescription foot orthotics.

• If none of the above therapies help, surgery is the next step. Surgery involves cutting the nerve and removing the small tumor or enlarged portion of the nerve. An area of permanent numbness will remain between toes. The surgery is typically done at a surgery center and takes about 40- 45 minutes. The recovery time involves wearing a surgical shoe for 2-4 weeks and typically takes 4-6 for full recovery. One of the more common complications of the surgery is the development of a “stump” neuroma. The nerve can become entrapped in scar tissue at the site where it was cut and cause pain.

Call Central Carolina Foot and Ankle Associates at (919) 477-9333 for an appointment or click the link below.

Central Carolina Foot & Ankle Associates

4119 Capitol Street
Durham, NC 27704 
(near Duke Regional Hospital) 

5107 Southpark Drive
Suite 202
Durham, NC 27713 
(close to RTP and Chapel Hill)