As a podiatrist, I have treated the condition called morton's neuroma many, many times over the course of my 22 years in practice. However, my latest patient hit much closer to home. Me! Turns out I have developed a neuroma in my right foot recently, and have had the opportunity to experience first hand what my patients have been experiencing all these years.
A morton's neuroma occurs in the forefoot and consists of inflammation and swelling of the nerve. This will frequently cause pain that will radiate out to the 3rd and 4th toes. Often there is a tingling, burning or shooting sensation reported. It is unclear the precise cause of this deformity, but damage to the nerve is suspected.
There are numerous treatment options available to treat this condition. In my office, I like to start with simpler options first. In my case, I decided to administer a cortisone (steroid) injection to the nerve. This can be helpful in decreasing the inflammation and pain in the nerve, although the relief from an injection is often not permanent. Other treatment options include the use of orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, icing, decreasing activity levels, and surgery. Like most patients, I would like to avoid surgery!
For your viewing pleasure, I had my assistant record myself administering the injection. My experience was like that of many of my patients over the years - the injection for a neuroma is not that painful. The fact that I was able to give it to myself while standing is a good indication that this was not a traumatic experience. As I continued with the injection, I could feel the area become numb, since I also injected a local anesthetic with the cortisone. You may notice that the injection took over a minute. I have found over the years that injecting slower decreases the pain, since the local anesthetic will numb the area as the injection proceeds. Typically though, the cortisone will take a few days before patients notice relief following a cortisone injection.
I will update this blog in the coming weeks to let you know if my injection helped to relieve my symptoms.