#treatment - Foot & Ankle
Morton’s Neuroma Surgery
If symptomatic, a Morton’s Neuroma can be excised to treat the symptoms. In the correct patient when the diagnosis is established then surgery can be very successful in eliminating pain.
Surgery is not always required. Treatment alternatives include orthotics (insoles to relieve pressure), change of footwear or avoidance of pain inducing activity and also injections of cortisone in and around the painful nerve.
It is also important that one has established confidently that the thickened nerve or neuroma really is the cause of the pain. This is because studies have shown that nearly half of the population may have a nerve that is enlarged on imaging scans but is not causing any symptoms.
The operation is performed as a day surgical procedure. It can be done under local anaesthetic although if you are fit and well we do prefer a short general anaesthetic for the procedure. The operation takes between 20-30 mins.
This can occasionally (rate 1-2%) occurs as with any operation. Antibiotic therapy or occasionally surgery to wash and clean the wound may be necessary.
NUMBNESS or NERVE INJURY-
This is an expected outcome of the surgery as the nerve that is supplying sensation to the toes is being removed. In practice the area of numbness is small and not of any consequence. Occasionally however the whole toe can go numb.
LACK OF BENEFIT or RECURRENCE –
In a proportion of patients the pain may not improve or may return after a period. This may be cause the initial pain pathology was not the nerve or that the nerve has re-grown. Fortunately this happens in around 5% or less if the correct diagnosis has been made.
COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS)-
This is a rare complication that can result in post op pain and skin colour changes in the whole of the foot and sometimes the entire lower leg. It occurs in less than 0.5% but can result in a poor outcome and prolonged recovery.
You will have post operative bandaging on your foot but will be able to walk fully weight-bearing in a post operative sandal. Although crutches maybe used they are not necessarily needed. In this time it is important to keep the leg elevated above heart level as frequently as possible although you should not be confined to bed.
You can go to work after a few days if your work is sedentary and desk based and your commute is not difficult.
You will be seen at the two week mark for removal of the bandaging and a wound inspection. At this stage it is likely that you will be able to graduate to normal shoes although a pair of trainers or comfortable and wide fitting shoes are advised.
There would be residual pain and swelling that would be ongoing but gradually improving.
The postoperative pain and swelling will slowly resolve in this period and you are able to return to most of your day to day activities although return to sports or high impact activities may only be possible towards the end of this period.
WORK- we recommend between a few days to two weeks off work depending on how physical your work is and what your commute to work is like.
SPORTS- most sports can commence by 3 month post op although some low impact activities such as cycling may be possible as early as 6 weeks.
SHOWER- you can get you foot wet after the two week visit when the bandaging is removed and full wound healing confirmed. Before this you need to shower with protective covering to waterproof the dressings and prevent it from getting wet.
We recommend the following links for further information on the surgery: