A Morton’s Neuroma is an enlargement or thickening of a nerve in the foot, usually between the third and fourth or second and third toes. It is often caused by irritation or compression of the nerve which leads to swelling and pain.

Certain shoes can cause compression of the nerve, making this worse. This can be diagnosed by a variety of different techniques, but we will usually examine the forefoot and ask about your clinical history. When required we support a diagnoses with an ultrasound or MRI scan.

We will sometimes use an alcohol injection on painful corns, reducing the pain or sensitivity. Some corns will be completely resolved by this, leaving you pain free.

An alcohol injection can reduce the pain

Injecting alcohol into the neuroma will aim to slowly breakdown the nerve, reducing the pain and decreasing its size. Many studies have reported high success rates with the best research showing 89% success (Dockery, 1999).

Alternatives lack good evidence

There are several treatments for neuroma, but the research is often of poor quality or confusing results:

  • Changing shoes and avoiding heeled or tight shoes you can help reduce the swelling an pain.
  • Specialist insoles or pads can be used to reduce the load on the area and reduce the irritation.
  • Steroid injections can reduce the neuroma pain, but it usually only lasts between 3 and 12 months. A series of 3 injections 8 weeks apart has some anecdotal evidence of working, however steroid injections can have other issues such as limited effectiveness, local skin reactions, and loss of fatty padding.
  • Cryotherapy can be used to freeze the nerve to kill it but there is very little evidence supporting this as a treatment.
  • Acupuncture can help in pain management.
  • Botulinum Toxin A injections is a very new technique and the effectiveness is still being assessed.
  • Surgery can be used to completely remove the nerve or reduce the compression on the nerve. This can be from the top or bottom of the foot and the success rates reported are about 90%.

We inject just behind the tenderness

It consists of a 4% alcohol solution with a long-acting anaesthetic which also contains adrenaline. This is used to give pain relief and keep the solution in the area. It is placed just behind the point of maximum tenderness for the greatest effect, and some pain or tingling will often be experienced when the nerve is reached. The injections are done in a clean treatment room.

There are risks, but they are negligible

An alcohol injection is a common treatment, but there is a very small risk of infection which we try extremely hard to prevent. In some very rare cases, a red line can appear on the foot or leg. You may also react to the adrenaline, especially if you have a reaction at the dentist.

Some discomfort is expected

Over the first few days it is possible your foot may feel uncomfortable. The first two injections can cause a small increase in pain. We recommend taking normal pain relief tablets to help with this. It is important that you monitor and keep a record of any changes in your pain over the next few weeks as this information may be useful to us.

You will need to rest after each injection

It is important that you do not drive or operate machinery for 6-8 hours after each injection, and you will need somebody to drive you home from after the treatment.

You must attend all 5 weekly appointments

The treatment involves a series of 5 injections with 1 week between them. It is important that you do not miss any one of the appointments in the series or the treatment must be restarted.

We are the only practice in the area to offer this treatment

Thanks to our highly qualified staff and their skill we are proud to be the only qualified and registered practice in Staffordshire to offer alcohol injections for Morton’s Neuroma.

COVID-19 Patient Statement Updated: 24th March 2020

As a medical facility, we are able to continue to offer our service. However, we must ask that you really consider whether it is essential that you come in for your appointment.

From the 18th of May we will be increasing our appointment capacity at both the Cannock Practice and the Burntwood practice. Initially, Cannock will be open all day Tuesday and Thursday. Burntwood will be open all day Wednesday. If you feel you do need to attend, please leave your name and telephone number on our answerphone service, and somebody will call you back.

We are taking extra measures to reduce risk to both our staff and patients, and appreciate your co-operation. You will be advised on these when we book your appointment.

Please do not attend, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 ie. High temperature (38˚C) or new persistent cough 

Our position remains subject to advice from the Government and our governing body, The College of Podiatry.