Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.
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How should I shop for new shoes that won't hurt my neuroma?
If you have a Morton's neuroma that causes pain in the ball of your foot or numbness in your toes, you know that the discomfort can be better or worse depending on the shoes you are wearing. Shoes can certainly effect the pain caused by a Morton's neuroma. If your shoe is too narrow, it will compress the metatarsal bones and increase the pressure on the neuroma. This added pressure will increase the pain that your neuroma is causing.
For this reason, if you are suffering from a Morton's neuroma try to purchase the widest shoes that will fit you. You don't want it to purchase a shoe that is so wide that you slip around in it, but the widest shoe that will still provide a good fit. Also, consider lowering your heel height, which will reduce the pressure on the ball of your foot.
If you do change the shoes you are wearing but continue to feel the pain from the Morton's neuroma, don't wait any longer. Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists of Houston, TX for an evaluation. Pain relief can be found much easier if you come in soon!
Many people who read this also wondered Why Do I Have a Bump On Top of My Foot?
How long should I wait before getting a neuroma checked?
In my Houston podiatry practice, I see many people who have suffered with ball of foot pain due to a Morton's neuroma for weeks, months, and even years. A Morton's neuroma does not usually improve on it's own. While your pain from a neuroma can start off coming and going, and even dependant on the shoes you are wearing, it very rapidly can become more consistently and intensely painful. Your neuroma can stop you from wearing your favorite shoes and may even force you to only wear flats.
The ideal time to treat your neuroma is as early as possible. If you are treated when the pain is minor and inconsistent, there is a much greater chance that conservative measures can be effective. As the pain from your neuroma increases, it becomes more difficult to control the inflammation and manage your pain. When non-surgical treatment, such as anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, and custom orthotics, do not adequately eliminate your pain, surgery to treat the neuroma may be necessary.
If you are beginning to feel pain in the ball of your foot or numbness in your toes, be sure to schedule an appointment with Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to see if your pain is due to a Morton's neuroma.
Will I need to wear a special shoe or boot after neuroma surgery?
A postoperative shoe is typically worn after your neuroma surgery. After surgery for a Morton's neuroma, a surgical dressing is applied to your foot. The bulk of this dressing makes the surgical shoe necessary. The shoe is open and will accommodate the dressing comfortably and easily. It also helps to keep the pressure off of the incision site and provides room for any swelling that may occur.
The surgical shoe also has a stiff sole. This restricts the motion of your foot when walking and allows for the soft tissue and skin to heal properly and quickly. In most cases, you could expect to stay in a postoperative shoe for approximately three weeks after surgery.
A surgical shoe is only a temporary necessity. You'll find that healing from your neuroma surgery will be faster if you wear the shoe diligently. You should NOT make your surgery decision based on the shoe. Look past the appearance of the shoe and keep your eye on the prize...wearing your favorite shoes without pain. To learn more about treating your neuroma with both conservative and surgical treatment, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider.
Will I be able to wear high heels after neuroma surgery?
High heels can contribute to the pain caused by a Morton's neuroma. Narrow shoes will compress the metatarsal bones and increase the pressure on the nerve. This explains why a neuroma may hurt worse in a closed shoe than it does in a more open sandal. High heels also shift more pressure onto the ball of the foot, which increases the neuroma pain. Some women report that the higher the heel, the more pain they are in and many find that they are limited to flats.
After neuroma surgery, the enlarged and inflamed portion of the nerve is removed. With the neuroma goes the pain associated with it. Most women find it much more comfortable to wear a high heel after neuroma surgery. In fact, some women are back in heels after 3 or 4 weeks after surgery!
If you find yourself unable to tolerate wearing high heels, it is time to stop the suffering. Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule an appointment with Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. He will discuss the treatment options with you and determine what will get you out of pain and back into your cute shoes as quickly as possible.
Will I need to wear an orthotic after neuroma surgery?
A custom orthotic device is recommended after many types of foot surgery, such as bunion or hammertoe surgery, to prevent the deformity from reforming. Because a neuroma does not return after surgery, since the nerve is unable to regenerate, some think that an orthotic is not needed after neuroma surgery. There is another good reason to utilize a custom orthotic after neuroma surgery.
In order to expose the neuroma during surgery, a ligament must be severed. Although the ligament heals, it does lead to an instability in the metatarsal arch and can cause the metatarsals to drop. A custom orthotic will support the metatarsal arch to prevent any problems occurring from this instability. If a custom orthotic was used prior to surgery, the same orthotic can be used afterwards.
Controlling the mechanics of your feet after foot surgery is a key to successful results. If you have had foot surgery and want to know if a custom orthotic will help you maintain a full recovery, contact Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.
What are the most common complications of a neuroma surgery?
While complications with neuroma surgery are uncommon, there are always possibilities with this and any foot surgery. The most common complication with neuroma surgery (and all surgeries) is a postoperative infection. In the foot, this usually occurs if the surgical dressings become soiled or wet. An infection presents with swelling and pain around the area thatwas operated on, often beyond what a pain medication will alleviate. It is crucial that you contact your Houston foot surgeon if you are concerned you have an infection after foot surgery.
Another common complication of neuroma surgery is a stump neuroma. This occurs when a neuroma forms on the end of the cut nerve. It is a very uncommon complication. This does not usually occur until substantial time has passed after the neuroma surgery and presents with a pain similar to that of the original neuroma. Treatment for a stump neuroma can include anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, and also may require an additional surgery.
If you continue to feel symptoms of a neuroma, including pain in the ball of your foot, even after you have had surgery, contact Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation. You should not still be in pain and relief is often just a phone call away!
Why are some of my toes feeling numb?
When some of your toes become numb, it can be because of a Morton's neuroma that has formed. This is commonly found in the second, third, and/or fourth toes. When a neuroma occurs between the metatarsal bones, pain often results in the ball of the foot. Because that nerve continues to the adjacent toes, it can also cause those toes to become numb.
When pressure on the neuroma is reduced, the numbness in the toes can be alleviated. This is accomplished with metatarsal support added to a custom orthotic device or applied directly to the foot. The support spreads the metatarsal bones and reduces the pressure on the nerve. This is also effective to alleviate the associated pain.
There are other possible causes of your numbness, such as peripheral neuropathy, so it is vital to visit you Houston Podiatrist at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. Dr. Andrew Schneider will be able to assess your symptoms, determine the cause, and create a custom treatment plan to manage your condition. Contact our office today for an immediate appointment.
Which "off the shelf" insoles are the best for a neuroma?
Foot pain is big business...just take a look at late night infomercials, the foot-care aisle in the pharmacy, SkyMall on an airplane, or the retail stores that prey on those suffering with foot pain. Not all insoles are created equal, however.
Two elements of an "off the shelf" insole is needed to reduce pressure on a Morton's neuroma. The first is control of hyperpronation. The "rolling in" that is caused by pronation causes compression of the metatarsal bones. I have found the best insole for this purpose to be Powerstep insoles which we carry in our office.
The other element needed for control of a Morton's neuroma is metatarsal arch support. This is hard to find on an OTC insole. In the office, we add metatarsal support to the Powerstep insoles dispensed for a neuroma. There are few insoles that come "off the shelf" with this support effectively added.
A quality insole should cost in the range of $30-$60, whether it is purchased in a shoe store, online, or a Houston podiatrist office. Unfortunately, there are those who charge in excess of $200 for a generic insole. If you are asked to pay this amount, or to invest in several different pair of non-custom insoles, you should beware.
There are times when a non-custom insole is enough to alleviate pain from a Morton's neuroma. The foot and ankle specialists at Tanglewood Foot Specialists will be able to recommend the best insole, or custom orthotic, for you.
Are there any special injections to make my neuroma go away?
The most common injection used to treat a Morton's neuroma is a corticosteroid injection. Cortisone, however, only treats the inflammation and not the neuroma itself. There are other injections that do address the actual neuroma.
A series of injections utilizing absolute alcohol is often effective to shrink the neuroma itself. This treatment is known as sclerosing injection therapy. The series usually lasts seven weeks, with one injection administered each week. While no treatment is effective for everyone, when these injections are successful they are able to prevent surgery.
While a corticosteroid injection provides pain relief that is close to immediate, a sclerosing injection works differently. After the initial numbness of the anesthesia wears off, some people report an increase in the pain from the neuroma prior to experiencing pain relief.
If you have attempted other treatments for a Morton's neuroma which did not have good results, contact your Houston foot and ankle podiatrist at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. We will offer you the full range of treatments in order to allow you to walk pain-free.
What causes a neuroma to form?
A Morton's neuroma is a swelling of a nerve in the forefoot. The swelling is due to the pressure of the adjacent metatarsal bones on the nerve. This pressure also causes the nerve to become inflamed, which is primarily responsible for the associated pain.
Certain factors may contribute to the formation of the Morton's neuroma. Narrow shoes and shoes with a pointed toe box cause increased compression of the bones in the forefoot, thereby increasing the pressure on the nerve. High heels also can contribute to a neuroma, since they increase the pressure on the forefoot. For these reasons, a Morton's neuroma is more commonly found affecting women.
If you feel that you are beginning to suffer the early symptoms of a Morton's neuroma and feel pain in the ball of the foot, the first step you take should be to evaluate your shoes. Try to wear the widest shoes that still fit your feet. Very often, this change alone can remove pressure from the nerve and reduce or eliminate the pain.
If you continue to feel pain, contact your Houston foot and ankle specialist at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. The Houston foot and ankle physicians and surgeons can evaluate your condition and recommend the best treatment to get you out of pain.