Neurological pain in a foot neuroma case is the result of the swelling of the nerve—in this case a non-neoplastic tumor of the foot previously called a Morton's Neuroma. At one time, the term Morton's metatarsalgia was used thus avoiding the usage of the term neuroma and association with tumors. Nevertheless, we shall stick to the term neuroma of the foot because this was the diagnosis given by the three medical specialists—a podiatrist, a neurologist and a neurosurgeon—that this patient had seen before coming to our office(Gonzalez, 2006, 28).
When typical in presentation, a foot neuroma is not difficult to diagnose (see Tables 1 and 2). Early in the course, numbness of the area between the involved toes, usually the third and fourth (see Figure 1), and the middle of the foot occurs. This is followed by constantly changing levels of burning pain to the middle of the foot. Sharp, shooting pain that starts under the metatarsal region begins and then pain often radiates to the two adjacent toes. Pain upon palpation of the inflamed intermetatarsal nerves and the classic metatarsal “click” on manipulation of the involved digits were found.1 Satisfied that this was a case of a benign neuroma, further diagnostic imaging techniques were not repeated as they were already available from the previous examining doctors.
In a certain percentage of the population, the neuroma pain seems to get better then returns with a vengeance for no apparent reason. The involved area may develop severe prolonged burning pain with occasional “fire-like” stabs of pain. This protracted pain is what brought the patient into our office. The significance of this condition lies in the fact that it is one of the most common conditions that drive people to a pain management specialist.1,2 This is especially true of the active lifestyle person. They may be athletes or former athletes that want to continue their exercise routine or their selected activity but the pain has become unbearable (Gonzalez, 2006, 25).
Figure 1. Illustration of the foot neuroma with the typical inflamed nerve at the 3rd and 4th digits of the right foot (Liberman, 1991, 78).
The Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma
A common burning sensation in your forefoot is one of the evident signs of you suffering from Morton's Neuroma. You might feel like taking off your shoes and rubbing your legs. The front pad of the foot can become extremely sore at the end of a long day or after a bout of rigorous exercise. However in severe cases, the pain may even occur while you are simply walking around or even when at rest. The pain can be accompanied by a feeling of numbness in your foot. The numbness may come with the pain or sometimes even before the pain comes in (Shaun, 2000, 142).
Such nerve damage in the foot is usually accompanied by tingling, burning, or numbness. The spot where the discomfort is typically prevalent is the meeting point of ...