A Morton’s or intermetatarsal neuroma is a pinched nerve, most often between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. It is due to a fibrosis around a nerve, in this case gets called a ‘neuroma’ even though it is not really a neuroma.
The main symptoms are a sporadic shooting pains into the toe that progressively gets worse. Symptoms can vary from person to person with some only experiencing a numbness of the toe,some mild tingling to burning like pains. Most commonly it is between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads, but can occur between any of them.
The cause is assumed to be an impingement on the nerve by the adjacent metatarsal head, creating a ‘pinched nerve’; the most obvious being wearing shoe that are too tight across the ball of the foot. Also excessive movement of the metatarsal heads could also be a, especially during sporting activity.
Conservative treatment usually starts with advice on the correct fitting of footwear and the use of metatarsal pads or domes. If that is not helpful, then a surgical removal of the neuroma is indicated.