What is Morton’s Neuroma?

May 6, 2016

General Tso’s chicken. Lincoln, Nebraska. The Eames Lounge Chair. It might not seem obvious at first what the popular Chinese dish, state capitol, and high-end piece of furniture have in common, but they are all named after someone. A necessary element of communication is that we label things, and a popular way of doing so is to name them after people. The name Lincoln, NE, is an homage to an important historical figure. With the Eames chair, the name is given for the creator of the item.

Medical issues are also often named after individuals—usually the person who discovered the problem. Such is the case with Morton’s neuroma. This particular condition was initially identified by a Dr. Thomas Morton. In 1876, Dr. Morton became the first known person to describe the condition, and he consequentially received the distinction of having it named after him.

So, what exactly is it that he identified? Well, a neuroma is a nerve that has become thickened or enlarged—often as the result of irritation and compression—and creates such symptoms as burning, tingling, and sharp pain. In some cases, a neuroma can lead to the sensation that phantom items exist (like a nonexistent pebble in a shoe). At other times, neuromas can even result in numbness.

Neuromas can form in several different areas of the foot, but a Morton’s neuroma develops between the third and fourth metatarsals. In some instances, the nerve between the second and third metatarsals can be affected. Either way, it can cause problems for your foot, but the good news is that you can find the treatment you need here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma!

If your feet are experiencing any abnormal sensations—whether they be pain, tingling, burning, or numbness—come see us and we can help. Contact our OKC office by calling (405) 418-2676 or simply schedule your appointment online today.

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