How Do I Know I Have a Neuroma?

How Do I Know I Have a Neuroma?

When you have pain in your feet or toes, it makes your day-to-day tasks very difficult. Even if the pain comes and goes, it still poses a problem with the activities you love. There are a number of different conditions that can lead to pain in your feet, one of which is a neuroma. 

At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, our team members are experts in a number of different conditions that affect both your feet and your ankles. Leading our team is Dr. Jeffrey McAlister, a leading foot and ankle specialist with both the knowledge and experience to get your neuroma pain under control.

What’s a neuroma?

Your feet are made up of a network of bones, ligaments, and nerves that allow you to move your feet and stabilize yourself. The ball of your foot is the area that lies behind your toes, underneath your foot.

Ligaments run to the ball of your foot and connect to your bones. You also have nerves in your feet that run underneath your ligaments and between your bones. And just like other areas in your body, these nerves can become pinched, which leads to pain.

When those nerves become pinched and inflamed, leading to pain and soft tissue swelling around the area, you have what’s known as a neuroma. 

Morton’s neuroma is the type of neuroma that occurs in the ball of your foot, most commonly between your third and fourth toes. This condition is very painful and can make it difficult to put weight on the affected foot.

Signs of a neuroma

The swelling around the inflamed nerve of a neuroma often leads to pain, but that’s not the only symptom. Other symptoms include:

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, there’s a good chance that you’re suffering from a neuroma. It’s important you see Dr. McAlister as soon as you can, as the nerves can become permanently damaged without proper treatment.

Neuroma treatments that may help

To determine the right treatment for your neuroma, Dr. McAlister needs to examine your foot and discuss your symptoms. He may also order an Xray to rule out other common causes of pain in your foot.

If you do have a neuroma, Dr. McAlister offers several different treatment options to get you the pain relief you’ve been searching for. In mild cases, your pain may be alleviated with simple taping and padding of the ball of your foot, which helps take pressure off the neuroma. 

However, if that doesn’t work, there are other options that Dr. McAlister recommends for the treatment of your neuroma. Some of these treatments include:


Dr. McAlister may recommend medications like anti-inflammatories to help ease the inflammation around the neuroma. He may also administer steroid injections in your foot to relieve your pain.


Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that can help relieve the symptoms related to the neuroma. They not only help improve the function in your foot, but may also prevent the neuroma from getting worse.


When other treatments don’t successfully relieve the pain of your neuroma, Dr. McAlister suggests surgical intervention. Surgery for a neuroma involves the doctor removing the inflamed nerve to give you permanent relief.

The surgery is normally performed under anesthesia, but it’s an outpatient procedure. This means you should be able to go home the same day as the surgery. You’ll be fully recovered in a few short weeks, with significantly less pain.

If you’re suffering from foot pain and would like to learn more about neuromas, call us at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or book an appointment online with us today.

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