A neuroma is a benign growth of the nerve frequently found between the third and fourth toes typically due to inflammation. This results in pain, tingling, or numbness in the toes and foot. The most common complaint of a neuroma is pain between the toes when walking.
Although the cause of neuromas remains unclear, a few common factors seem to contribute to the development of a neuroma:
- Foot deformities including a high arch or flat foot
- Trauma to the nerve
- Improper footwear which squeezes the toes together or high-heeled shoes which increase pressure on the forefoot
- Repeated stress, particularly related to occupation
Because neuromas tend to get worse if left untreated, a podiatrist should be seen at the first sign of pain or discomfort. Treatment depends on severity but will often begin with conservative treatment and only advance to surgery if these treatments fail.