Your podiatric physician will first assess your condition with a physical exam. X-rays will be taken to rule out more serious bone problems and then MRI or ultrasound will be used to assess the nerves and surrounding soft tissues. Morton's neuroma will appear as a thickening or enlargement of this tissue which is complicated by the movements of walking or squishing your feet into shoes that are too small. At this point, you could probably care less about why or what is going on in your foot, but rather ‘how can we alleviate the pain?" Well, if you are visiting Dr. Thomajan at AFAS, there are many different options that can be implemented.
Our first goal is to get you some immediate pain relief and attempt to stop it from returning. This is accomplished through ‘conservative treatment'. There are a number of options, including metatarsal raise padding, orthosis fitting, or shoe gear change that must be exhausted, before moving onto more invasive treatments, such as surgery. The metatarsal raise, is a pad placed into your shoe, works by keeping the bones of your feet from rubbing against the painful neuroma by spreading them out and is typically quite helpful for eliminating your pain right away as well as for a long period of time. If one of these conservative treatments does not eliminate the problem, your podiatric physician will discuss the more invasive surgical treatment with you. This type of treatment is usually considered a ‘last resort' as there is the chance of complications with any surgical treatment. If the problem progresses to this stage, the damaged nerve will be removed while you are under sedation and effectively eliminate the pain.
Just remember Austin, a trip you a specialist does not always involve surgery. Our goal here at Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists is to keep you healthy and feeling well. There are often many options for treatment and surgery is typically the last one implemented. Stay healthy and keep those feet happy!