Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that occurs when a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes, expands and becomes compressed. Shoes, particularly high heels or shoes with tight toe boxes, and walking often make the pain worse. In some cases, patients with Morton's neuroma find short-term pain relief when they do not put weight on the affected foot.

Podiatrists conduct a physical examination and may order imaging tests, such as x-ray or MRI scan to diagnose Morton's neuroma. Conservative treatment options include custom-fitted orthotics, medication, and/or alcohol injections designed to harden the nerve. However, most patients with Morton's neuroma need minor surgery.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor about Morton's neuroma. Print this page, check off the questions you would like answered, and bring it with you to your appointment. The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be for you and your doctor to treat Morton's neuroma effectively and reduce foot pain.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Morton's Neuroma

  • What is a neuroma?
  • Why do you suspect that my foot pain is caused by Morton's neuroma?
  • Might the pain be caused by another condition, such as plantar fasciitis or flatfeet?
  • How might my shoes affect the pain in my feet?
  • Can you feel the neuroma when you examine my foot?
  • What is Mulder's sign? Why does it occur?
  • Do you recommend that I have a foot x-ray or MRI scan to diagnose or rule out Morton's neuroma? Why or why not?
  • Do you suspect I have a large neuroma or a small neuroma?
  • What type of treatment do you recommend?
  • What are the benefits and risks of this Morton's neuroma treatment?
  • Might padding or taping help relieve my foot pain?
  • Do you recommend arch support?
  • Can I take over-the-counter or prescription medicine to relieve the pain?
  • Might orthotics be helpful? Where can I be fitted for orthotic shoes?
  • Will my health insurance help cover the cost of these supports or new shoes?
  • Do you recommend alcohol sclerosing injections? Why or why not?
  • If this treatment is recommended, how many injections will I need? How frequently should I have the injections and how long will this treatment last?
  • What side effects are associated with alcohol sclerosing injections?
  • Might I need surgery to remove the neuroma? If so, do you recommend a dorsal approach or plantar approach to Morton's neuroma surgery?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and possible complications associated with each of these approaches?
  • What are the symptoms of complications, such as hematoma or infection?
  • If my incision site becomes warm or red or I start running a fever, should I go to the emergency room? If not, who should I call?
    Doctor: Telephone number:
  • What can I expect after surgery? How long will it take to recover?
    Restrictions:
  • How soon after surgery can I drive and return to work?
  • How can I help reduce my risk for long-term complications associated with surgery to treat Morton's neuroma?
  • How often should I follow up with a podiatrist?
    Next appointment: Doctor: Date: Time:
  • How common is a recurrence of Morton's neuroma?
  • What is the likelihood that I will need treatment again? What might this additional treatment involve?

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 10 Apr 2009

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015