Common Foot and Ankle Problems & Treatments

General Information

A neuroma is a swollen or damaged nerve that runs between the bones of the foot to which your toes attach. It is a benign condition, most commonly found between the third and fourth toes.

What are the symptoms?


The most common complaints with neuromas are cramping, tingling or numbness.

Sometimes, these symptoms can go from the ball of the foot to the toes, or from the ball of the foot to the ankle.

A feeling as if the sock were bunched up can also be a sign of a neuroma.

Tight shoes usually aggravate the symptoms.

Any kind of bending of the toes, or stepping the wrong way, when barefoot, however, can also cause the same symptoms.

If the neuroma becomes large enough, you may even feel a clicking sensation or a lump in the ball of your foot.

What causes pinched nerves (neuroma)?


Pinching of the nerves from tight shoes or repetitive stress can cause irritation and damage to the nerves that run towards the toes.

In some cases the nerves can be damaged by trauma.

How are pinched nerves diagnosed?

We at Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic use sonography of the foot to confirm the diagnosis and to help to locate the nerve damage, so that treatment can be directed at the exact location of the trouble.


How can pinched nerves be treated?

Early treatment may include one or more of the following

  • Roomier or specially constructed shoes.
  • Orthotics (inserts) for the shoes.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Cortisone injections.
  • Alcohol sclerosing injections.

If these methods fail, surgery may be suggested. This involves the removal of the damaged nerve tissue.

Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic have, however, been using dehydrated alcohol injected into the nerve (with ultrasonic guidance when indicated) to destroy the nerve chemically, without surgery. This has been a successful way to treat damaged nerves without the debilitating effect of surgery. Patients walk in and walk out without any change to their routine.