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Morton's Neuroma Removal

  • Definition

    Morton's neuroma is an inflammation and scarring of a nerve in the foot that goes to the toes. Surgical treatment involves removing the area of inflammation and the nerve.
  • Reasons for Procedure

    Morton's neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Morton's neuroma removal is done to lessen these symptoms when other treatment has not helped. After the removal, most people have pain relief.
  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
    • Recurrence of pain
    • Numbness in the nearby toes
    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Poor wound healing
    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
    • Smoking
    • Poor nutrition
    • Long-term illness
    • Use of certain medications
    • Diabetes
    • Bleeding disorders
  • What to Expect

    Prior to Procedure
    You doctor may do the following:
    • Medical history
    • Physical exam
    • MRI scan of the foot
    Local or general anesthesia will be used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.
    Description of Procedure
    A small incision will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two toes that are affected by the neuroma. The area of inflammation and the nerve will be located and removed. The end of the nerve will be attached to a toe tendon. Sometimes, the ligament between the involved foot bones is cut to prevent pressure on the area. The incision will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be applied over the area.
    Nerves of the Foot
    Foot Anatomy Nerve and muscle
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    After Procedure
    The removed tissue will be examined in a lab. The results may take several days.
    How Long Will It Take?
    Less than one hour
    How Much Will It Hurt?
    Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
    Average Stay
    If there were no complications, you may be able to leave the same day.
    Post-procedure Care
    You will have to restrict activity while recover. This may take 3-6 weeks. Home care may include:
    • Caring for the surgical wound
    • Using compression or ice
    • Keeping your foot elevated
    • Exercises to maintain flexibility and strength
    The small area where the nerve was removed is likely to remain numb.
  • Call Your Doctor

    It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the care center. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
    • Recurrence of the symptoms in your foot, or new, unexplained symptoms
    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

    American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

    American Podiatric Medical Association


    College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta

    Canadian Podiatric Medical Association


    Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated September 29, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2016.

    Mortons neuroma. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' OrthoInfo website. Available at: Updated September 2012. Accessed May 10, 2016.

    Thomson CE, Gibson JN, Martin D. Interventions for the treatment of Mortons neuroma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2004;CD003118.

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