Symptoms and Signs of Morton's Neuroma

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 5/19/2022

Doctor's Notes on Morton's Neuroma

A Morton's neuroma is a benign tumor that grows in the nerve cells in the front of the foot and are almost often found between the third and fourth toes. Signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Foot pain
  • Numbness, tingling, and/or burning
  • Feeling that something is in the ball of the foot
  • Pins and needles
  • Feeling that there is something in the sock or shoe
  • Feeling of walking on a marble
  • Increased pain in tight or high-heeled shoes

Causes of Morton's neuroma are due to nerve compression and/or irritation that include the following:

  • Wearing tight shoes
  • Wearing high heels
  • Repetitive impact to the front of the foot

Risk factors include being female (women are eight to 10 times more likely to develop Morton's neuroma), bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet, and highly flexible feet. Home remedies include wearing low-heeled comfortable shoes. Other treatments may include custom orthotics, corticosteroids, physical therapy, and sometimes decompression surgical therapy.

What Are the Treatments for Morton's Neuroma?

Treatments depend on the severity of symptoms; mild symptoms may respond to conservative therapy such as

  • shoes with adequate room across the ball of the foot,
  • foot pads,
  • arch supports,
  • metatarsal pads, and
  • individually designed shoe inserts.

Surgical procedures may be needed:

  • Steroid injections into painful areas
  • Nerve decompression therapy: Reduce pressure on nerves by cutting tissue (for example, tendons) that press on nerves.
  • Removal of the nerve to stop pain

Your orthopedist or podiatrist may help you decide what may be the best treatments for your symptoms.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.