Treatment of Morton's Neuroma

Treatment for Morton's neuroma will depend on how long you've had the condition and its severity. Simple non-surgical treatments are effective for some people. Others may need surgery.

Non-surgical Treatments

At first, your podiatrist or GP may recommend:

  • Changing your footwear shoes with a wider toe area may help ease the pressure on the nerve in your foot
  • Orthotic devices a soft pad for the ball of your footmay help relieve the pressure on the nerve
  • Painkillers taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers , such as ibuprofen , may help ease the pain and inflammation
  • Losing weight if you're overweight, losing weight may reduce thestrain on your feet
  • Injections injections of a steroid medication or alcohol solution alongside a local anaesthetic may offer somepain relief

Resting your foot and massaging your toes may also help relieve the pain. Some people also find it useful to hold an ice pack against their foot.

A relatively new procedure called cryosurgery (or cryotherapy), where a small probe is inserted into the foot and used to destroy the thickened nerve tissue by freezing it, is also sometimes used to treat Morton's neuroma. However, this is still fairly experimental and isn't widely available in the UK. You'll usually have to pay for it privately.


Surgery for Morton's neuroma is usually only recommended if you have very severe pain or if the treatments above haven't worked. In this case, your GP can refer you to apodiatric or orthopaedic surgeon to discuss whether surgery is suitable for you.

During the operation, a small incision is made on the top or bottom of your foot so the surgeon can access the affected nerve.

They will then either:

  • Increase the space around the nerve by removing some of the surrounding tissue, or
  • Remove part of the nerve if this is done, the area between your toes will be permanently numb

The procedure is usually carried out using a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic . You normally won't need to stay in hospital overnight.

After the procedure, you'll need to wear a special protective shoe until the affected area has healedenough to wear normal footwear. You can usually walk soon after the operation, although it will take weeks or months to make a full recovery.

Most people who have surgery to treat Morton's neuroma have positive results and their pain isrelieved afterwards.

As with all types of surgery, however, complications can occur, such as swelling, infection and pain. You should discuss the risks with your surgeon before having the procedure.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016