A Morton's neuroma is a condition that causes pain in the forefoot and toes due to swelling or inflammation of the small nerves that are in the second and third web space.
The nerves to the toes runs between the metatarsals and divides to give sensory innervation to the toes.
Many people with this condition report feeling a painful "catching" sensation while walking and many report sharp burning, shooting pains that radiate out to the two toes along the course of the involved nerve.
The diagnosis is usually made based on history and physical examination alone. In some confusing cases, an injection of xylocaine and cortisone into the area can help decide of the diagnosis of a Morton's neuroma is correct. The injection should result in a reduction of symptoms temporarily.
Treatment of Morton's neuroma usually begins with shoe adaptations. New research shows locally injecting the nerve with alcohol may resolve the symptoms without surgery. If conservative treatment fails, then surgery is recommended.
Surgery involves removing the neuroma, and since the neuroma is part of the nerve, the nerve is removed, as well. This results in permanent numbness in the area supplied by the nerve.