14844 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Morton's Neuroma Removal


    Morton's neuroma is an inflammation of a nerve in the foot that goes to the toes. Surgical treatment involves removing the area of inflammation and the nerve.

    Reasons for Procedure

    Morton's neuroma can cause pain and tingling. Morton's neuroma removal is done to alleviate these symptoms. After the removal, most patients have good pain relief.

    Possible Complications

    If you are planning to have this removal, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
    • Recurrence of pain
    • Numbness in the nearby toes
    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Poor wound healing
    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
    • Smoking
    • Poor nutrition
    • Long-term illness
    • Use of certain medicines
    • Diabetes
    • Bleeding disorders

    What to Expect

    Prior to Procedure

    You doctor may do the following:
    • Medical history
    • Physical exam
    • X-ray —uses radiation to take pictures of the foot


    Local or general anesthesia will be used. Local anesthesia will numb the area. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep.

    Description of Procedure

    A small incision will be made on the top of the foot. It will be made between the two toes that are affected by the neuroma. The area of inflammation and the nerve will be located and removed. The incision will then be closed with stitches. A bandage will be applied over the area.
    Nerves of the Foot
    Foot Anatomy Nerve and muscle
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    After Procedure

    The removed tissue will be examined in a lab. The results may take several days.

    How Long Will It Take?

    Often less than one hour

    How Much Will It Hurt?

    Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. You may have some pain during recovery. Talk to your doctor about medicine to help relieve this pain.

    Average Hospital Stay

    If there were no complications, you may be able to leave the same day.

    Post-procedure Care

    When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
    • Keep the surgical area clean and dry.
    • Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
    • Use compression and ice to prevent swelling as directed by your doctor .
    • Keep your foot elevated.
    • Take antibiotics to prevent infection if advised by your doctor
    • Take pain medicine as directed by your doctor.
    The stitches are usually removed in the doctor's office 7-10 days after the surgery. You will gradually be able to return to full activities within 3-6 weeks. The small area where the nerve was removed is likely to remain numb.

    Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Recurrence of the symptoms in your foot, or new, unexplained symptoms
    • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.


    American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons http://www.acfas.org/

    American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org/


    Alberta Podiatry Association http://www.albertapodiatry.com/

    Canadian Podiatric Medical Association http://www.podiatrycanada.org/


    American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.acfas.org/ .

    American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/s%5Fapma/index.asp .

    Mann RA. Foot and ankle. In: DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2003.

    Morton's neuroma. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Accessed March 25, 2008.

    Scardina RJ, Lee SM. Frontera: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation . Philadelphia, PA; Hanley and Belfus; 2002.

    Thomson CE, Gibson JN, Martin D. Interventions for the treatment of Morton's neuroma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . 2004;CD003118.

    Revision Information

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