Morton’s Neuroma

What is a Morton’s Neuroma?

A Morton’s neuroma is a pinched or irritated nerve in the ball of the foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma happens when the tissue around a nerve in your foot thickens from irritation or compression, which causes pain. A Morton’s neuroma also is called an interdigital neuroma, intermetatarsal neuroma, or a forefoot neuroma.

Who Can Get a Morton’s Neuroma?

Anyone can get a Morton’s neuroma, however, it develops much more frequently in women than it does in men. This is likely because high-heeled and narrow-toed shoes are among the biggest causes.

What are Common Risk Factors to Develop a Morton’s Neuroma?

Anything that causes irritation, pressure, or injury to one of the nerves that lead to your toes can contribute to the development of a Morton’s neuroma. Some of the most common risk factors include:

  • Tight fitting shoes
  • High heeled shoes
  • Trauma to the foot
  • High impact sports

Symptoms of a Morton’s Neuroma

Typically, there’s no outward sign of this condition, such as a lump. Instead, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sharp, burning pain to the toes – particularly toes 3 and 4
  • Feeling of a bunched up sock under your toes
  • Feeling of standing on a pebble in your shoe


One of the easiest ways to prevent a Morton’s neuroma is to choose the right kind of shoes.

  • Wear shoes with a wide toe box
  • Wear shoes with a low heel


Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will usually start with a conservative treatment and move on to more aggressive treatments if your pain persists. Typically the treatment of neuromas does not include surgery. Common treatments include:

  • Change in shoe gear
  • Off-loading foot pad
  • Steroid injections