Interdigital neuromas, a non-malignant tumor, causes pain in the foot toes; mostly swelling or nerve enlargement may be due to nerve damage. It is also coined as forefoot neuroma or as Morton’s neuroma.
What is Interdigital neuromas?
Interdigital neuroma, a benign nerve tumor that causes the nerve tissues’ thickening, may grow in various parts of the body. The foot’s neuroma is most common. Swelling creates irritation and inflammation due to compression pressure on the nerve builds by nearby metatarsal bones or ligaments; it is coined as a pinched nerve. The neuroma occurs between the third and fourth toes nerve, and chances of occurrence also present in between the second and third toes.
Rarely occur in other locations of the feet. Neuroma hardly develops in both feet at a time. It is the growth of nerve tissues in the foot’s intermetatarsal bones; that’s why it is an intermetatarsal neuroma. Neuroma development risks are more in overweight people or people who suffered from a foot injury. It is less common in males and most common in females. Especially middle-aged females might be foot wares like narrow-toed shoes, and high-heeled, which creates an abnormal position of the feet by localizing the bones the hidden reason behind the creation of neuroma.
Interdigital neuromas symptoms
Most of the time, no visible signs like lumps or mass growth except swelling between the foot extremities are observed in an interdigital neuroma. The primary symptom related to an interdigital neuroma is when the patient initially complained about pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensation in the forefoot, worsening when putting pressure or weight on it. Rather than simple walking or performing sports activities, suffering people may get temporary relief when they stop walking, wear off the narrow-toed shoes, or high-heeled, massaging or rubbing the affected area also helps a lot. But if the condition is ignored, the symptoms may get worst because of permanent nerve damage; patients don’t get relief quickly, and pain may persist for several days or weeks until it is getting treated. In other words, the neuroma feeling is described as a person walking while carrying a sharp tangible thing in his shoes. Surprisingly, certain people had interdigital neuroma, but they did not have a painful sensation.
Interdigital neuromas Causes
It is n’t easy to describe the exact cause for this condition, but some causes are considered primary reasons that lead to the development of a neuroma. When toes nerves have compression, irritation, injury, or tension on the forefoot, other risk factors are people who wear improper footwear that causes pressure on their toes. Due to ill-fighting such as small spiked shoes, or high-heels are having more complaints of the neuroma. Certain biomechanical foot deformities, like flat feet, hammertoes, high-arched feet, may cause neuroma due to instability between toe joints. High risk is associated in the people participating in a lot of running or jogging, high-impact athletic activities, in some occupations that feature tight shoes, and repetitive subject trauma on the feet can create or aggravate an interdigital neuroma.
Interdigital neuromas Tests
When the pain is sustained longer than a few days, the patient should visit the foot and ankle surgeon before the condition worsens, despite changing the shoes. During the examination, the podiatrist examines the state and will try to reproduce the pain by squeezing metatarsals together or by the positive web-space compression test. The Tests are performed to rule out arthritis or joint inflammation, which includes palpation because it may be palpable mass and drawer tests at the metatarsal phalangeal joint. X-rays to figure out the fractures, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound images may be performed to identify the soft tissue abnormalities.
Interdigital neuromas Treatment
Treatment varies and depends on the stage and severity of neuroma. Early diagnosis of neuroma decreases the chances to go for more invasive treatments like surgery. Nonsurgical and straightforward therapies are suggested if the neuroma is determining in the early stages of growth. The podiatrist will first try to determine how long a person had the neuroma. According to its condition from mild to moderate, treatment options include; padding or tapping technique means wearing the shoes with soft pads, insoles, and shock-absorbent padding that provide support to the metatarsal bones results decrease the compression tension on toes, orthosis that are customized devices designed to reduce pressure and compression on the nerve.
Avoid those activities that create pressure on the neuroma, footwear modification, icing helps in reduction of the swelled area, certain medications like oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed to get relief from the pain, injections of cortisone and local anesthetics are also beneficial in this condition for bringing some relief. If nonsurgical treatments cannot provide relief from the pain, an orthopaedic surgeon goes for the surgery. In surgery, either a small portion of the nerve is removed, or decompression surgery is performed by resecting the nerve’s surrounding ligament. Recovery from surgery depends on the severity of the neuroma. Often it takes just a few weeks, followed by some medications to control the pain.