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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Foot and Ankle

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Morton's neuroma

Morton's neuroma is an enlarged nerve or swelling that usually occurs between the third and fourth toes.

This can be the result of injury, flat feet or wearing ill-fitting shoes. You will probably feel persistent pain in the ball of your foot and the pain may spread to your toes. In addition, the toes sometimes click when they are manipulated.

The good news is that it is possible to treat Morton's neuroma with simple, non-surgical procedures. Tailor-made inserts (orthotics) for your shoes may be an option. This will reduce pressure on the nerve by lifting and separating the bones.

Another alternative to consider would be to wear wider shoes with lower heels, which will allow the toes to spread out, thus reducing the pressure on the digital nerve, allowing it to heal. Alternatively, corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation.

If the condition doesn't respond to the non-surgical options then your surgeon may consider minor surgery - this is called the dorsal approach. Your surgeon will cut into the metatarsal ligament which will reduce the compression on the nerve.

You should discuss all the above options fully with your surgeon.