Neuroma

WHAT IS NEUROMA?

A neuroma is a swelling in the nerve that is a result of a trauma or compression and can bring about permanent nerve damage. Neuromas are sometimes described as a nerve tumor, but this may not always be true. The condition can arise from different types of nervous tissues, including the myelin sheath in nerve fibers.

It could also occur as genuine neoplasms (growths) like neruinomas and ganglioneuromas. The most common site for neuromas is on the ball of the foot, in which it is commonly termed as “Morton’s Neuroma”. However, they may also occur at the end of injured nerve fibers as forms of unregulated, ineffective nerve regeneration, in which it is termed as “Traumatic Neuroma”.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NEUROMA?

The symptoms of Neuroma vary depending on the type (i.e. Traumatic or Morton). However, the most common include tingling or numbness in your toes or injured nerve fibers, feeling of standing on a pebble in your shoe, and burning pain in the ball of your foot or injured nerve fibers.

Sometimes the pain can become excruciating.. As the nerve swells, pain is aggravated and intermittent by anything that results in further stressing or compressing the nerve. Taking anti-inflammatory medications might help reduce pain.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF NEUROMA?

Traumatic neuroma (also known as pseudoneuroma, scar neuroma, or amputation neuroma) is usually caused by a laceration or puncture wound that injures a nerve. It can also occur following a surgery that may result in the cutting of a nerve. These neuromas typically occur near a scar, either deep (for instance, after a cholecystectomy) or superficially (subcutaneous fat, or skin).

 

Morton’s Neuroma occurs in the space between the fourth and third toes and is caused in response to injury, irritation or pressure to any one of the nerves that lead to your toes. It may also occur by wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are ill-fitting. Participating in high-impact sport activities like running or jogging, and foot deformities like high arches, hammertoes, or bunions may also cause neuroma.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR NEUROMA?

The treatment for neuroma usually depends on the severity of your symptoms. However, if conservative treatments haven’t helped much, your healthcare specialist may suggest:

  • Removal of the Nerve – If other treatments fail to provide relief, a surgery involving the removal of growth may be necessary. (While surgery is habitually successful and effective, the procedure could lead to permanent numbness in the affected area).
  • Steroid Injections – Some people may undergo treatment via injections. The injection of steroids into the painful area may help alleviate pain symptoms.
  • Decompression Surgery – Surgeons may relieve pressure on the nerve fiber by cutting nearby structures.
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