If you wear high heels or shoes with a tapered toe box, or you participate in strenuous exercises like running or mountain climbing, you’re more likely to experience a neuroma. When left untreated, a neuroma can negatively affect your mobility, making it difficult to hike, play sports, or run errands. At his private practice in Freehold, New Jersey, board-certified podiatrist Steven Lemberger, DPM, DACFAS, diagnoses and treats neuromas in a warm, welcoming environment. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
A neuroma is a benign growth that occurs on one of the nerves leading to your toes. They commonly develop in the nerve tissue between your third and fourth toes, causing pain or a burning sensation in the ball of your foot.
If you have a neuroma, it may feel like there’s a pebble or small stone in your shoe. Usually, irritation subsides if you stop wearing tight shoes and transition to footwear with a wider toe box.
Neuromas don’t present any outward symptoms like a lump or bump. However, as the growth increases in size, signs may include:
As a neuroma progresses, you might also experience trouble walking or placing weight on your affected foot.
Neuromas affect people of all ages, races, and genders. Certain factors can increase your risk, including wearing high-heeled shoes that are tight or ill-fitting, participating in high-impact sports like jogging or rock climbing, and having foot deformities.
If you have bunions, high arches, or flat feet, you’re also more likely to experience a neuroma.
To diagnose a neuroma, Dr. Lemberger physically examines your feet and toes, carefully pressing on the ball of your foot to feel for a mass or tender spot. If you have a neuroma, he might also notice a “clicking” sound when examining the bones of your foot.
If these measures don’t provide enough information to make a diagnosis, Dr. Lemberger might recommend an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI. These diagnostic imaging procedures provide detailed images of the bones, joints, and soft tissues in your feet and toes.
Treatment of a neuroma depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your quality of life.
Usually, Dr. Lemberger recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments like rest, physical therapy, or enPuls radial shockwave therapy. Radial shockwave therapy uses small bursts of electric energy to ease swelling and encourage your body’s natural healing process.
If your neuroma is severe or doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, you might benefit from a series of corticosteroid injections or decompression surgery. During decompression surgery, Dr. Lemberger cuts the ligament that binds the bones in the front of your foot together. This relieves pressure and promotes healing.
To explore your treatment options for a neuroma, schedule an appointment at the practice of Steven Lemberger, DPM, DACFAS. Call the office to speak with a friendly staff member or book a consultation online today.