It starts with a slight pain under the foot. Caught early, the symptoms can often be treated with a change of activity and a new pair of shoes. Left untreated, a neuroma can lead to surgery where the damaged section of the nerves needs to be removed. It’s possible for a neuroma to appear wherever there are nerves, which means, anywhere in the body. However, certain parts of the body are more susceptible to neuromas and the most common place for them to appear is in the foot. Specifically, neuromas most often form in the nerve running between the third and fourth toe (and less frequently between the second and third toe). In these locations, the neuroma is referred to as a Morton’s neuroma.
A Morton’s neuroma is always the result of pressure or trauma to the nerves. What varies is the cause of the trauma. Sometimes the structure of a person’s foot aggravates the nerve and causes a neuroma, as in the case of flat feet, or the presence of bunions or hammertoes. Other times, the neuroma develops because of tight, narrow shoes or from continued pressure, such as frequently walking barefoot on tile or the consistent pounding from certain sports, such as running.