When It Feels Like a Pebble Is In Your Shoe…
A Morton’s neuroma can leave you with a nearly-constant unwelcomed pain when you walk or stand. Some people describe it like standing on a pebble or marble; to others it might feel like a fold in a sock they can never straighten out. The intensity can range from a stubborn annoyance to intense pain, but either way it’s a sensation you’d probably be very, very glad to be rid of. Fortunately, the experts at the Kansas Foot Center offer several solutions that can help you free yourself from the pain and discomfort.
Here’s what’s going on. A neuroma is a thickened (but fortunately noncancerous) mass of tissue that forms next to a nerve in the ball of the foot. Typically this occurs between the third and fourth toes, or sometimes the second and third.
The mass itself doesn’t hurt at all. But when you stand, it may pinch and pressure the adjacent nerve. Aside from the “pebble” sensation, it can also cause symptoms such as tingling, radiating pain, or numbness.
After we diagnose your neuroma, there may be several treatment procedures considered, depending on your symptoms and needs. Usually we’ll recommend conservative therapies first, but more significant neuromas may require a more aggressive approach.
One simple strategy is to use footwear modifications, arch supports, foot pads, or custom orthotics. The goal here is to take the pressure off the balls of your feet and redirect it elsewhere, so the mass of tissue is no longer pressing on the nerve. This approach may have the added benefit of helping to correct an existing biomechanical issue that may well have contributed to forming your neuroma in the first place.
A more sophisticated approach might incorporate the use of our state-of-the-art MLS laser therapy, which is a non-invasive tool that uses beams of light to boost healing and reduce pain and swelling. Certain medications or injections of a corticosteroid can also be effective.
Finally, surgery may be an appropriate consideration for those who don’t respond to other forms of care. The procedure may involve excising some of the thickened tissue, or releasing pressure on the nerve by cutting some of the surrounding tendons and soft tissues in the ball of the foot.
The takeaway? If it feels like a pebble is permanently stuck in your shoe—whether you’re wearing shoes or not—you have options. To review available treatments with Dr. Truong, please schedule an appointment with the Kansas Foot Center at (866) 222-5177.