Intermetatarsal Neuroma – Dancing with the Stars, Jennifer Grey’s Surgery

Best known for her roles in ‘Dirty Dancing' and ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off', Jennifer Grey has made a resurgence lately with her participation in ‘Dancing with the Stars'. Unfortunately, some of those headlines have been health related. Before participating she underwent two procedures to address problems with her neck and a suspicious spot on her thyroid. During the show, a ruptured disc almost kept her from finishing the show. But since winning season 11 of ‘Dancing with the Stars', Jennifer Grey has been plagued by neuroma pain in her foot. She recently underwent operation to correct the problem and will be back on her feet soon.

It is important to note that neuromas in the foot are rarely tumors. The term neuroma is a bit of a misnomer because these often occur as a result from compression or repetitive trauma and not cancerous growth. Trauma between your toes? The anatomy of your foot puts the nerves underneath a tight ligament. Over time, improper foot alignment can cause this ligament to rub and irritate the nerve. Tight fitting shoes and/or high heels only exacerbate the compression and friction of the nerve against this ligament. This results in scarring and fibrous growths that provide further irritation compounding the problem. When these traumas continue to occur (such as in dancing in high heels), the nerve growth can become quite large. This seems to be what happened to Ms. Grey and thus the surgery to remove this growth. Because it is a sensory nerve, or strictly for ‘feeling', there will be no loss of muscle function. Typically, patients can begin walking immediately, albeit with a ‘surgical shoe', returning to normal foot wear in 4 to 6 weeks.

Surgery to remove a neuroma is usually the last treatment tried. If you feel a burning or stabbing between your toes, you should make an appointment at Austin Foot and
Ankle Specialists today. Dr. Thomajan can use a variety of inserts, taping, padding and education to help relieve the painful symptoms before surgery becomes necessary. Take a look at the link to videos and more information on our homepage.

Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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