Skip to main content

Morton Neuroma

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 27, 2022.

What is Morton neuroma?

Morton neuroma is inflammation of one of the nerves in your foot. It usually occurs in the ball of your foot, between your third and fourth toes.

Foot Anatomy

What increases my risk for Morton neuroma?

  • Tight shoes or shoes with high heels or pointed toes
  • Repeated trauma from high-impact sports, such as running

What are the signs and symptoms of Morton neuroma?

  • Pain in your foot, especially when you walk
  • Achy or burning sensation
  • Feeling like you are stepping on a small stone or a wrinkled sock
  • Numbness, tingling, or prickling that may spread to your toes

How is Morton neuroma diagnosed?

  • A foot and ankle exam will be done by your healthcare provider. He or she will press on your foot to feel for thickened tissue.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be done to check for thickened tissue. These tests can also show if other problems may be causing your pain. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is Morton neuroma treated?

The goal of treatment is to decrease pressure, pain, and swelling.

  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • An injection of steroids, ethanol, or numbing medicine may decrease pain and swelling.
  • Surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work. The tissues around the nerve may be cut to relieve pressure. The nerve may also be removed completely.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Wear flat shoes with a wide toe box. This will decrease the pressure on the front of your foot.
  • Wear orthotics, arch supports, or foot pads. These help relieve pressure and cushion the ball of your foot. You may need a medical shoe insert ordered by your healthcare provider.
  • Do an ice massage to decrease pain and swelling. Freeze a paper or foam cup filled with water and roll it under your foot. Do this for 20 minutes, 2 times each day.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • Your symptoms spread to your toes.
  • Your symptoms do not improve after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

Learn more about Morton Neuroma

Treatment options

Care guides

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.