Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Neuromas Of The Foot

Neuromas are non-cancerous growths that can inflict pain by affecting the nerves of the foot. These benign growths can wrap around a nerve of the foot. They are caused by a compression or irritation or the nerve.Neuromas most commonly affect the nerves between the base of the third and fourth toes of one foot. The neuromas in this location are called Morton’s neuromas. It is sometimes called an intermetatarsal neuroma.

An achy feeling in the toes may be the first sign of a neuroma. This ache is sometimes followed by tingling or burning sensations in the toes. The pain is often exasperated by wearing shoes that are too narrow. In addition to the achiness of the toes, the individual may feel as though there is a pebble in the ball of the foot. The discomfort can be temporarily relieved by massaging the foot.

The discomfort and pain worsens over time. If left untreated, a neuroma can cause permanent nerve damage. A neuroma must be diagnosed by a physician. Because they don’t affect the bone, x-rays are useless as a diagnostic tool for neuromas other than to rule out bone damage as the cause of the pain. Therefore, the doctor relies on a description of the symptoms experienced by the individual.

The doctor may treat the neuroma by injecting the affected site with a mixture of corticosteroids and an anesthetic. The injection plus the use of orthopedic footwear may alleviate the symptoms. The injections are often repeated two or three times over the following month or two to provide relief.

If the corticosteroid injections fail to provide relief from the pain, surgery may be necessary. Surgical intervention consists of the removal the neuroma. This provides permanent relief from the pain, however it can result in permanent numbness to the affected area of the foot.


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