What is a neuroma?

A neuroma is a benign tumor of a nerve. It becomes inflamed and irritated.

What are the symptoms of a neuroma?

The tumor can cause burning, chronic pain or the sensation of a hot knife cutting into the bottom of the foot.

Who is likely to get a neuroma?

Women who wear high heels are typical neuroma patients.

What causes a neuroma?

High heels compress the nerves, causing a neuroma to form or an incorrect gait can put excessive pressure on the nerve.

How is a neuroma diagnosed?

The physicians at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush examine the foot. He may order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.

What are the treatments for a neuroma?

Non-surgical Treatment Options

The orthopedic surgeons at Midwest Orthopaedics and Rush with offices in Chicago, Oak Park, Winfield and Westchester, recommend patients wear supportive shoes. A patient can get temporary relief by icing the foot, taking non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, resting the foot, using orthotics or massaging it.

If the neuroma does not heal, the physician may use steroid injections to reduce the swelling and pain.

Surgical Treatment Options

If less invasive treatments do not work, the physicians at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush may surgically remove the neuroma. This is called a "neuroma excision" and is an outpatient procedure. The patient stays off her feet for two weeks, then use crutches and a surgical shoe for four weeks.