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  1. #1
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    Treatment of Mortons Neuroma - intense burning pain in ball of foot

    Read all the threads here, but have not seen much on treatment options other than Haydukelives that got one cortisone injection and was cured.

    For those that dont know, I describe it as having a red hot scrwdriver jammed between the 3rd and 4th toes in the ball of the foot area. At first it flared up on the endless sidestepping days in Granite. then it would flare up just from a long day of skiing hard. Have had custom ski orthotics (some with met pad moldings) for 25 years.

    More recently, have shifted to wider ski boots, metatarsal pads, custom orthotics, wider street shoes, icing, etc etc.
    Those things have made it better, but now its the point where it hurts most days, even when not skiing.

    So, its seems there is:
    1) cortisone injections
    2) alcohol injections
    3) surgery

    Anyone tried any of the above and had good or bad results?
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē
    Hunter S. Thompson

  2. #2
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    Tried any focused stretches yet?
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  3. #3
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    Did all of the above and then had surgery. It was easy. Wished I had the surgery sooner than I did. My only lasting side effect is numbness between my 3rd and 4th toe on the actual inside surface of the toes. Never notice unless I happen to stub that particular toe which is kinda tough. Used crutches two days then limped around in a sugerical show for about two more weeks. Easy!

  4. #4
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    Good to hear. Did they cut from the bottom or the top?

    I'm not worried about numbness, already have that on 3rd and 4th toe.
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē
    Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    So, its seems there is:
    1) cortisone injections
    2) alcohol injections
    3) surgery

    Anyone tried any of the above and had good or bad results?
    You can read my saga here
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...any-experience

    IMO, if you are at the "red hot screwdriver" stage and have already lost sensation between your toes the cortisone injections are a waste of time and money. My surgeon's opinion of the alcohol injections was that they were a scam. I am glad I had the surgery (dorsal incision) but

    Quote Originally Posted by Queenie View Post
    Easy!
    is not how I would describe the recovery. Granted, I had complications (stitch abscesses), but the time leading up to the abscesses starting was no cake walk. I needed to be on the couch with the foot elevated >90% of the time for the first 3-4 days or it would throb horribly, and I had to keep it elevated the majority of the time for another week or so. After I got out of the ortho shoe and got the stitches out (2 wks) I had to take it very easy for a couple more weeks still. You really need to be off the foot as much as possible for 1-2 months, which isn't too bad if you have a desk job but could be tough if your jobs requires you to be on your feet. Full recovery expect 3-4 months depending on how seriously you take the recovery and whether or not you have any complications.

    If you get surgery I highly recommend finding a well regarded foot/ankle specific ortho who works with athletes. The biggest factor in whether or not the surgery "works" is what the surgeon does with the end of the nerve. According to my guy, lots of podiatrists just snip it right above the neuroma and call it good. This can be OK in sedentary people, but if you are active it can often lead to a stump neuroma (google this) that can be as bad as the original neuroma. My surgeon removes the nerve well above the MTP joint and inserts the end into on the intermetatarsal muscles. The nerve end has more space there and being inserted into the muscle reduces stump growth, supposedly.

  6. #6
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    Dan, that sucks. I'm dealing with Morton's right now. It was really bad at the end of ski season. Pretty sure it is a result of the boots I got 2 seasons ago. I've been on high doses of prednisone for the past 2 years (unrelated) that was probably masking the problem until I tapered low enough this year to uncover it.

    So far it has been numbness and no pain. It's getting better the further away I get from ski season. Still feel it after a day on my feet but I'm careful about foot wear choices. I've found that icing/massaging the neuroma with a frozen water bottle has been helping greatly. I may follow up with a podiatrist to see other options but I've been delaying and hoping it continues to get better. interested in seeing how others progress with this. Looks like we have each end of the spectrum so far with queenie and Dan.

  7. #7
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    DanTheMan is right on with his info.

    I too had the traditional surgery for MN, after exhausting every other procedure which failed me completely. All four of my neurectomies grew back into stumps. I then went to a peripheral nerve surgeon, considered a pioneer in the field, and had corrective surgery, as explained by DanTheMan. I am rid of three of them, but one of the nerve branches fell. If you decide on surgery, plead with the surgeon to stitch the nerve ending into your muscle, normally the arches.

    Please join us at MN Talk. MN Talk is the only forum dedicated to just this condition. We talk about the various procedures out there and share our experiences with this dreadful condition. www.MortonsNeuromaTalk.com. Hope to see you all there.

    BTW, studies show the types of shoes we wear are the number one cause of MN.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN_TJ View Post
    BTW, studies show the types of shoes we wear are the number one cause of MN.
    I know but 3" heels really show off my legs!

    Seriously though, I have found Keen's to help a lot. They have a wide toe box so no pinching. Hearing your story and Dan's is furthering my resolve to get this treated without surgery. I will check out the site you mentioned. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    Hearing your story and Dan's is furthering my resolve to get this treated without surgery.
    To be clear, at this point (6 months post-OP) my surgery appears to be 100% successful and I would do it again. Just don't think it's as simple as getting a mole removed.

    As far as treating without surgery, managing is probably a better word. Any nerve damage bad enough to be symptomatic is probably irreversible. You can do your best to keep it from getting worse, but shoes and pads won't make it better.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    Good to hear. Did they cut from the bottom or the top?

    I'm not worried about numbness, already have that on 3rd and 4th toe.
    Top first, around between those toes to the base of the foot. Total incision was about 1 inch long.

  11. #11
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    This is the most recent thread I could find on Morton's Neuroma. I think mine started 10 + years ago. I would feel it after looong days in approach shoes/climbing shoes, it felt like I was standing on a pebble when I walked barefoot and would subside several days after the activity. I pretty much quit climbing due to job change and started wearing wider approach shoes on big days, and although I would feel it occasionally, it wasn't a big concern.

    Fast forward to last spring when I cramponed 5000 vertical feet up Buck Mountain with it absolutely screaming at me. The pain was so bad at times on that day that I thought I'd fall off the mountain with certain foot movements. This was after a big winter of ski touring, and I don't really have memory of it bothering me on normal winter tours.

    I got over that episode, had a pretty normal summer. I felt it a few times, but not what I'd call pain, just an annoyance. Yesterday was my first time in ski boots since Buck Mountain and I had one or two times when I was edging on hard snow when it "popped" and was excruciating. Quick instances of stabbing pain followed by long periods of dull throbbing. Pretty calm today wearing altras.

    Anyway, long story...do I need to make my ski boots wider, get a custom footbed? I haven't seen a doc, maybe that's the next step?

  12. #12
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    Custom footbed. (I dont know all the tech terms) Build up a protruding bulge to lift the ball of foot before the metatarsalsClick image for larger version. 

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    Doesnít fix everything but it helps a lot. I do a lot of rolling out my foot too... golf ball, foot massaging ball etc
    Iíve got a couple versions of these footbeds but the concept is the same.
    The flex of forefoot when ski touring sometimes brings all the pain.
    Apparently if the nerves get all bound up in scar tissue you just donít feel it (numb) and then occasionally it can become knife to foot feeling type pain. Mine varies but I generally have been ok lately.

  13. #13
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    Oh... and a wider boot helps too. Iím in Vulcans and sx130 and they both work well for me

  14. #14
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    Morton's neuroma is caused by tight shoes, laterally.

    Mechanical cause, so the solution is mechanical too.
    Wide shoes at the forefoot, and the bump on your orthotics, which causes the forefoot to spread out, less pressure on the nerve.

    Don't look for chemical solutions, ie drugs, or surgery.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using TGR Forums mobile app

  15. #15
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    Wider boots are not necessarily the answer. If the fit is sloppy you compensate by cranking the bindings and that makes it worse. A boot that holds your foot securely with the lower buckles just tight enough to not fly open is important, with the width appropriate for the width of the foot--at least that works for me. (Actually, my second from the bottom buckles do fly open from time to time)

  16. #16
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    Treatment of Mortons Neuroma - intense burning pain in ball of foot

    As a 10 yr sufferer Iíve had good luck with wider toebox/thin socks for running and bike shoes. Maybe up a half size too. Less running more biking also. For skiing, intuitions in my kryptons do the trick with toe buckle barely buckled. The toecaps seem to create just the right amount of space during the molding process.

    Flareups suck. Agree w Goat its important to find happy medium on snugness as flopping around creates issues too. My foot did not like the built up footbed bump. Subscribing to find other best practices.


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    Last edited by Cabinfever; 12-10-2018 at 08:20 AM.
    That Don't Make No Sense

  17. #17
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    FWIW, I had one footbed buildup that didnít work (more pain) and then another that was way better. I think the first was too big a bump.
    Definitely agree on intuitions and cross training.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabinfever View Post
    As a 10 yr sufferer I’ve had good luck with wider toebox/thin socks for running and bike shoes. Maybe up a half size too. Less running more biking also. For skiing, intuitions in my kryptons do the trick with toe buckle barely buckled. The toecaps seem to create just the right amount of space during the molding process.

    Flareups suck. Agree w Goat its important to find happy medium on snugness as flopping around creates issues too. My foot did not like the built up footbed bump. Subscribing to find other best practices.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Quote Originally Posted by cdubski View Post
    FWIW, I had one footbed buildup that didn’t work (more pain) and then another that was way better. I think the first was too big a bump.
    Definitely agree on intuitions and cross training.
    Please don't get started on posted vs non posted footbeds, or this thread could go on for 100 pages. Actually, it's probably too late.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Please don't get started on posted vs non posted footbeds, or this thread could go on for 100 pages. Actually, it's probably too late.
    What if the footbeds were on a treadmill?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    What if the footbeds were on a treadmill?
    Schrodinger's treadmill?
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Don't look for chemical solutions, ie drugs, or surgery.
    Done right, the surgery absolutely works. It may not be necessary depending on the severity of your neuroma, but there is a point beyond which it's the only thing that's realistically going to work.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Done right, the surgery absolutely works. It may not be necessary depending on the severity of your neuroma, but there is a point beyond which it's the only thing that's realistically going to work.
    I read that the success rate it's not that high

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    I read that the success rate it's not that high
    Source?

    IIRC stump neuromas are common, but that's why I said "done right." The biggest factor in whether or not the surgery "works" is what the surgeon does with the end of the nerve. According to my guy, lots of podiatrists just snip it right above the neuroma and call it good. This can be OK in sedentary people, but if you are active it can often lead to a stump neuroma that can be as bad as the original neuroma. The nerve needs to be resected well above the MTP joint and the free end inserted into the intermetatarsal muscles. The nerve end has more space there and being inserted into the muscle reduces stump growth. Mine is all good six years out.

  24. #24
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    Iíve got a decent foot surgeon that Iíll probably consult soon. If I can control with footbeds and boot work Iíll do that. But Iíve been limping for three days since skiing Saturday. Itís not really painful anymore but itís uncomfortable feeling that thing roll around inside my foot.


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  25. #25
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    Well, I think this started up for me for the first time yesterday after a 45 min uphill run (interval training) in too-narrow racing flats the day before. I have been wearing wide toed shoes (Xero shoes) as a "daily driver" for the past few months, except those racing flats which I just loved for short, fast runs. Pain is there, but mostly some tingling and feeling like my sock is bunched up.

    Since it just started, I'm really hoping it goes away soon if I baby it but I guess we'll see.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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