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Foot Bone or Joint Injury

Morton’s Neuroma Surgery

Minute Read

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Posted 6 months ago

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Last updated: 03/12/2022

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by James McCormack

Morton’s Neuroma Surgery involves the surgical removal of an interdigital neuroma, commonly between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal. If the aim is to save the nerve then a surgical decompression may be carried out by shaving the surrounding structures thus taking the pressure off the nerve and allowing it to heal.

When is Morton’s Neuroma surgery recommended?

A Morton’s Neuroma is a painful and debilitating injury that causes pain, numbness, and swelling in the forefoot. The first line of treatment should be guided by a Physical Therapist and involves massage, exercises, insoles and education on avoiding activities that can aggravate the symptoms such as poor footwear and impact exercise.

If conservative treatment for Morton’s Neuroma is unsuccessful, then surgery is recommended. After a consultation with an Orthopaedic surgeon and imaging such as an ultrasound scan or MRI, a surgeon will discuss with you whether a surgical decompression or neuroma excision is the best form of treatment.

Picture of Morton's Neuroma Diagram

How long does Morton’s Neuroma Surgery take?

Mortons Neuroma Surgery is normally a day case under general anesthetic. If your surgery is in the morning or early afternoon and there is no complications then you are usually free to leave later that day. If your case is in the evening, then you may be required to stay overnight.

Picture of Morton's Neuroma Surgery

What Can I Expect after Morton’s Neuroma Surgery?

Your foot is normally fully bandaged after Morton’s Neuroma Surgery. You are normally prescribed some pain relief by your surgeon. You can walk on the first-day postoperatively using an orthopedic shoe, with full weight-bearing if tolerated. The bandages are normally kept in place for 2 weeks until your stitches are removed and at this stage, you normally commence foot rehabilitation with a Physical Therapist.

You do not need crutches after Morton’s Neuroma surgery as you can fully weight bear in an orthopedic show however you may use some if you feel unsteady on your feet.

In the first few weeks post-op, you should keep your foot elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. After two weeks you may return to non-impact activities such as static biking or swimming to help reduce swelling.

Picture of a bandaged foot after Morton's Neuroma Surgery

Is Morton’s Neuroma Surgery Painful?

It is common to experience mild to moderate pain in the first 2-5 days post-operatively. This should gradually subside and be relatively painless within 2 weeks. In rare cases, Morton’s stump neuroma may occur as a postoperative complication.

How Long is recovery after Morton’s Neuroma Surgery?

Recovery from Morton’s neuroma surgery takes up to 3 months in total. The first two weeks are about keeping your wound clean, your foot elevated to reduce swelling, and general rest. After this, you can commence Physical Therapy for 6-12 weeks. This involves massage, strengthening, and mobility exercise. Custom Orthotics may be recommended to address any biomechanical causes of the neuroma to reduce the risk of it returning.

Picture of an orthopedic shoe

Do I need Physical Therapy After Morton’s Neuroma Surgery?

It is recommended to have Physical Therapy after Morton’s Neuroma surgery to address any tightness or weakness in the foot and leg. This is often combined with balance exercises, recommendations on footwear, and sometimes custom insoles.

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice and we recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack to achieve a diagnosis. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

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Mortons Neuroma Exercises
What is a Morton’s Neuroma?
Dancer’s Heel 

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