Morton's disease

March 2017


Definition


Morton's disease, also called Morton's neuroma, is a condition manifested by pain in one foot. Morton's neuroma is composed of nerve fibers formed in the aftermath of a nerve compression at the metatarsals. The nerve most often affected is between the third and fourth toe, but sometimes between the second and third. This pain is felt when the patient is standing or walking. This syndrome affects mostly women over the age of 50. Its exact cause is still unknown, but the thickening of the tissue that surrounds the nerves that communicate between the toes, after irritation or injury, may be a reason for the outbreak of this disease.

Symptoms


Morton's syndrome occurs as follows:
  • pain in the forefoot and between certain toes, increased by walking and relieved when resting;
  • the formation of a palpable ball;
  • the feeling of a foreign body, like a pebble in one's shoe.

Diagnosis


Morton's syndrome is a disease whose diagnosis is in most cases only based on the description of the symptoms by the patient. Clinical examination with the finding of palpable nodules may confirm the disease. In rare cases, it is possible to use an MRI or ultrasound.

Treatment


Treatment of Morton's disease is based on the use of painkillers or anti-inflammatories. It is essential to wear wider shoes with low heels. Injections of corticosteroids are also an effective way to relieve pain, but are usually only a temporary solution. Surgery can be decided on if the symptoms persist even after these treatments: it involves the removal of the neuroma. The disadvantage of this removal is a loss of sensitivity of the area, but generally this has no major impact on the patient's life.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff.
This document, titled "Morton's disease," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).