Morton's disease, also known as intertarsal neuroma, Morton's Metatarsalgia, or Morton's toe syndrome, is a localized thickening of the sheath of the plantar nerve at the level of its passage between the heads of the metatarsal bones. This condition can cause pain in the toes, especially when wearing shoes that squeeze the toes.

Key Features:

  • Causes: Excessive stress on the forefoot, improper footwear, foot deformities, injuries and other factors.
  • Symptoms: Shooting, burning pain in the forefoot extending to the 3rd or 2nd tarsal space, and toes.
  • Diagnosis: Based on clinical signs, radiography, and ultrasound of the foot.


  • Conservative: Anti-inflammatory drugs, blockages, physical therapy.
  • Surgical: Resection of the neurinoma or dissection of the tarsal ligament.

It is important to remember that although the condition is called Morton's neuroma, it is actually a local thickening of the nerve sheath, not a tumor. Other names for this pathology include metatarsalgia, perineural fibrosis, and plantar neuroma. Lack of timely treatment of the disease can lead to persistent pain syndrome.

At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we offer a full range of services to diagnose and treat Morton's neuroma. Our experienced podiatrist-surgeon, Dr. Alex Yanovskiy, DPM, will customize a personalized treatment plan to help you get rid of your pain and discomfort.

When Is Morton's Neuroma Treatment Recommended?

Morton's neuroma can manifest with a variety of symptoms that can significantly affect a patient's quality of life. Typical clinical signs are manifested by:

  • pain, burning, tingling or numbness in the toes and patients foot;
  • a "goose bumps" or "needles" sensation;
  • symptoms worsen when wearing shoes;
  • a "crumpled sock" feeling between the toes;
  • redness or swelling in the area of the affected nerve.

Diagnostic criteria

  1. Palpation of the forefoot area where there is a painful sensation or induration.
  2. Performing additional tests, such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to rule out other causes of foot pain.
  3. Mulder's test: squeezing the inter toe space causes pain or paresthesias in the toes.
  4. Consideration of the patient's medical history, including the presence of past trauma or nerve damage.

Treatment is recommended when symptoms of Morton's neuroma do not resolve for several months, are progressive, and significantly affect the patient's quality of life.

Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate. If symptoms of neuroma appear, consult a doctor. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the result will be.

At our clinic, we will develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your case and provide maximum pain relief and restoration of foot function.

Preparation for Treatment

Before beginning treatment for Morton's neuroma, it is important to take several steps to ensure an effective and comfortable process.

General recommendations for preparing to start treatment

Consult your doctor:

  • tell the doctor about your symptoms;
  • get yourself examined and diagnosed;
  • discuss treatment options.

Do the necessary research:

  • X-rays: to rule out other diseases;
  • MRI or ultrasound: to confirm the diagnosis of a Morton's Neuroma;
  • In some cases, blood tests may be required to rule out other diseases.

Discontinue certain medications:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs and anticoagulants, which can affect blood clotting.

Prepare the necessary items:

  • comfortable clothes and shoes;
  • prescriptions for medication;
  • a list of questions for the doctor.

Additional recommendations:

  1. Take a shower or bath: this will help relax your muscles and reduce pain.
  2. Do a light warm-up: which will help improve circulation.
  3. Eat a light breakfast or lunch: do not eat a heavy meal before the procedure.
  4. Take someone with you who can drive you home.

Follow your doctor's instructions. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Tell your doctor about any changes in your health status.

Conservative treatment

  1. Wearing comfortable shoes: shoes should be low-heeled with a wide toe and should not squeeze the toes.
  2. Orthotic insoles: insoles can help distribute the load on the foot and reduce pressure on the nerve.
  3. Anti-inflammatory drugs: to reduce pain and inflammation.
  4. Physiotherapy: to strengthen the muscles of the foot and improve blood circulation.
  5. Injection therapy: injections of corticosteroids or anesthetics directly into the area of the neuroma to temporarily relieve pain and restore function.

In cases where conservative methods do not bring the desired result or if the neuroma significantly limits the patient's mobility, surgical intervention - removal of a benign mass (neuroma) on the plantar nerve between the metatarsal bones - may be required.

Operative treatment may include a variety of surgical techniques:

  • Neuroma removal: excision of the affected area of the nerve.
  • Neurolysis: dissection of the intertarsal ligament to release the nerve.
  • Clayton-Hoffman surgery: relocation of the intertarsal ligament.
  • Other methods: metatarsal bone resection, muscle grafting.

The surgery can take place using infiltration, spinal, or general anesthesia.

Stages of the operation include:

  • Incision on the sole of the foot (or on the side).
  • Identification and isolation of a neuroma.
  • Removal of the neuroma (partially or completely).
  • Closing the wound with sutures.

The entire procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes

At Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, we offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment of Morton's neuroma.

Recovery and Aftercare

Once treatment is complete, it is important to ensure proper recovery and take steps to minimize the risk of recurrence.

The duration of the recovery period depends on the method of treatment. After conservative therapy, recovery may take several weeks, after surgical intervention - several months. It is important to follow the doctor's recommendations.

  1. Rest and avoid putting stress on the foot.
  2. Apply ice to the foot to reduce swelling and pain.
  3. Take pain medications as recommended by your doctor.
  4. Wear comfortable, wide shoes.
  5. Do exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot.

To minimize the risk of recurrence:

  • Avoid wearing narrow shoes with high heels;
  • watch your weight;
  • exercise regularly;
  • do exercises to strengthen your foot muscles;
  • See a doctor at the first sign of Morton's neuroma.

Why Choose Our Clinic?

Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic is your partner in caring for your foot health. We specialize in providing quality care and treatment for a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including Morton's neuroma. We offer:

  • Consultation with a qualified podiatric surgeon
  • Modern equipment and technology
  • An accurate diagnosis of Morton's neuroma
  • Individualized selection of the optimal and effective treatment method
  • Relapse Prevention

When you choose Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic, you can be assured of receiving the highest quality care. We are committed to helping you return to an active and healthy life without foot pain and discomfort. Don't put up with the pain! Morton's neuroma is a treatable condition.

Schedule a consultation with our specialist, Dr. Alex Yanovskiy, DPM, to get an accurate diagnosis and find the best treatment. Call our Des Plaines Clinic at (847) 298-3338.

Contact Us

Have any questions? Reach out to us from our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

1400 East Golf Rd, Unit 201, Des Plaines, IL 60016

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