Most commonly when the term neuroma
is used, it refers to the swelling and inflammation of a nerve specifically
between the metatarsal and the toes. This has been referred to as
a Morton’s Neuroma. There are, however, multiple nerves of the
foot, ankle and leg that may become traumatized in one way or another.
These give rise to a whole multitude of symptoms, most of which are
associated with burning, localized pain, tingling and numb feelings.
The pain can be quite annoying and the skin may be very sensitive.
The pain increases when anything irritates the affected area.
The diagnosis is made by palpating, touching or tapping the affected
nerve. No electrical nerve conduction tests need to be performed to
confirm this diagnosis. If the diagnosis is in doubt, anesthetic is
injected into the skin to temporarily numb the sensitive area and
The treatment consists of desensitization of the nerve. This includes
the use of sedative nerve medications, an anesthetic nerve patch and
physical therapy treatments. If these fail to alleviate or control
the symptoms then removal of the neuroma and the affected nerve may
be performed. This typically will remove the nerve pain and leave
the area of the foot or ankle numb.