Morton Neuroma

"The hard part is not how to do the surgery but deciding what to do. In order to do this, it is essential to see a specialist in foot pathology".


What is Morton's Neuroma?

Morton's neuroma or Morton's syndrome manifests as pain in the support area of the sole of the foot slightly anterior to the area where corns appear, almost at the base of the toes.

It is a fairly common injury that affects the nerves of the foot, specifically one of the nerves that run between the metatarsal bones of the third and fourth toes, causing pain, numbness and discomfort in the area. It is also known as Morton's metatarsalgia or interdigital neuroma.

What are the symptoms of Morton syndrome?

The main symptom of Morton's neuroma is pain in the sole of the foot, which may feel like a burning or a sensation of having a stone in the shoe.

Numbness and tingling in the toes may also occur.

These symptoms are often made worse by walking, running or wearing improper footwear.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain with the step.
  • Deformity of the foot.
  • Inflammation of the zone.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have Morton's neuroma

What are the causes of Morton's neuroma?

Morton's neuroma occurs when chronic compression or irritation of the interdigital nerve occurs, leading to the formation of a fibrous mass and thickening of the tissue around the nerve. Common causes include:

  • Improper footwear: Narrow or high-heeled shoes can compress the toes and increase pressure in the area, contributing to the development of Morton's neuroma.
  • Foot deformities: People with flat feet, pes cavus or claw toes are at increased risk of developing this condition.
  • Physical activities: Playing sports or engaging in activities that involve repetitive impact on the forefoot area, such as running or dancing, can increase the likelihood of developing Morton's neuroma.

Prevention of Morton's neuroma

Although it is not possible to prevent all instances of Morton's neuroma, taking certain steps can reduce the risk of developing this condition:

  • Wearing proper footwear: Selecting shoes with a wide toe box, adequate support and a low heel can decrease pressure on the nerves of the foot and prevent the development of Morton's neuroma.
  • Avoid high-impact activities: Reducing participation in activities that involve repetitive impact on the forefoot area, such as running or dancing, can help prevent interdigital nerve irritation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can increase pressure on the feet and contribute to the development of Morton's neuroma. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet.
  • Perform stretching and strengthening exercises: Regular practice of specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the foot muscles can improve foot function and reduce the risk of developing Morton's neuroma.

How is Morton's neuroma treated?

Conservative treatment of Morton's neuroma

  • Change of footwear: Wearing shoes with a wider toe box and proper support can relieve pressure on the nerve and decrease pain.
  • Orthopedic insoles: Custom insoles can help redistribute pressure on the sole of the foot and provide proper support for the foot structure, which can improve Morton's neuroma symptoms.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with Morton's neuroma.
  • Corticosteroid injections: In some cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections into the affected area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Morton's neuroma and physiotherapy

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for Morton's neuroma, especially in mild to moderate cases. Physical therapy interventions may include:

  • Mobility and strengthening exercises: specific exercises to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles of the foot can help decrease pressure on the affected nerve and reduce the symptoms of Morton's neuroma.
  • Massage and mobilization: Massage and mobilization techniques can help relax the muscles and tissues around the neuroma, which can decrease nerve compression and relieve pain.
  • Physical therapy modalities: Applying heat, cold or electrical stimulation to the affected area can help reduce the swelling and pain associated with Morton's neuroma.

Surgical treatment of Morton's neuroma

When conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, the physician may recommend surgery to treat Morton's neuroma. There are two main surgical techniques:

  • Decompression of the nerve: This technique involves cutting the surrounding ligaments and tissues that compress the nerve, with the goal of decreasing pressure and relieving pain.
  • Removal of the neuroma: In more severe cases, the physician may choose to remove the neuroma completely. However, this procedure may have risks and complications, such as loss of sensation in the affected area or the formation of a recurrent neuroma.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology covers the full spectrum of congenital or acquired conditions of the musculoskeletal system including trauma and its aftermath.

Since 1986, the Clinica Universidad de Navarra has had an excellent bank of osteotendinous tissue for bone grafting and offers the best therapeutic alternatives.

Organized in care units

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in arthroscopic surgery.
  • Highly qualified professionals who perform pioneering techniques to solve traumatological injuries.
  • One of the centers with the most experience in bone tumors.

Our team of professionals

Traumatology specialists with experience in the treatment of Morton's neuroma