"Walk This Way" (After Your Neuroma is Gone)
Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith and American Idolfame, is a famous sufferer of a common foot problem known as a neuroma. A neuroma is a thickening of a nerve as a response to irritation, and can be very painful. Most people with this condition describe pain or tingling between their toes, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. The pain can also affect the ball of the foot, and usually gets worse when bearing weight on this area.
One of the most common causes of a neuroma is shoe choice. Women are more likely than men to develop a neuroma, due to wearing high-heeled shoes. These types of shoes crowd the toes together, and cause the nerves of the feet to become “pinched”. This pinched nerve will thicken due to pressure, and will cause pain. Because of this, switching to more sensible shoes, such as shoes with a low heel and wide toe box, is recommended.
Shoe choice is not the only to blame, as those with flat feet or high arches are more likely to develop neuromas. Neuromas can also be associated with bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities. Custom orthotics can help correct some of these problems, and thus decrease the chance of developing a neuroma.
For our patients at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care in Sidney, Ohio, with a neuroma, we recommend orthotics and three steroid injections over three weeks to take pressure off the affected area and get rid of the pain. This course of treatment works for the majority of our patients, but for the rest we prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug and recommend wearing a night splint for an hour a day.
In rare cases where these other treatments don’t fully get rid of the pain, we may recommend surgery to remove a portion of the irritated nerve. In this case, we will use your own stem cells taken from your blood to speed the healing process.