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What is Morton's neuroma?

Morton's neuroma is a condition that affects the ball of the foot. The condition can cause pain in the ball of the foot, as well as numbness in the toes and occurs when a nerve leading to a toe becomes thickened as a result of compression or irritation.

The condition may be caused by wearing tight high heeled shoes that compress the nerves in the feet. Repetitive activities like running can also increase the risk of developing the condition, particularly if there is considerable pressure placed on the ball of the foot.

How can it be treated?

The treatment that Dr Narramore recommends will depend on your specific symptoms, as well as the extent of your pain and discomfort. In most cases, he will begin by recommending custom arch supports and foot pads, which work by relieving some of the pressure on the affected nerves. He may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. Often, an injection of local anaesthetic and long acting steroid injection will eliminate symptoms.

In some cases, however, Dr Narramore may recommend surgery. There are various surgical procedures that can be performed for the treatment of Morton's neuroma, including techniques known as neurectomy, cryogenic neuroablation and decompression surgery. During a neurectomy procedure, Dr Narramore will carefully remove part of the nerve tissue. This is done through a 3-4cm incision on top of the foot as a day case procedure.

Decompression surgery works by relieving pressure on the nerves when the ligaments around the nerves are cut.

After surgery, it may take some time to fully recover. You will need to rest your foot and you may need to use crutches or wear a surgical boot while the site of surgery heals.


Dr Chris Narramore consults and operates from the following locations: Constantiaberg Mediclinic or Sport Science Institute. Please contact his office directly to make an appointment and specify where you would like to be seen.


Room 207
Mediclinic Constantiaberg
Burnham Road
Cape Town 7800

Tel: +27 21 762 5228


Orthopaedic Sports Clinic
Sports Science Institute
Boundary Road
Cape Town 7700

Tel: +27 21 762 5228