There are many nerves that course throughout the foot producing nerve signals to contract muscle or to feel pain and temperature changes. Some of the nerves that run towards the toes will course in between the metatarsal bones in the area of the ball of the foot. A neuroma or benign tumour occurs when  the covering around the nerve becomes irritated and swollen. If the nerve covering stays irritated, it can become thickened which puts pressure on the nerve causing a burning sensation, numbness or pain. Symptoms caused by a neuroma are usually felt in the ball of your foot.  A neuroma is usually found between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads.  If the neuroma is between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads it can cause blanching of the 3rd and 4th toes.
A neuroma can be caused by tight fitting footwear or abnormal bony forefoot alignment.

Treatment for a neuroma can include the following:

  • Footwear advice

  • Osteopathic foot manipulations

  • Corticosteroid injections

  • Metatarsal pads

  • Prescription foot orthotics

  • Surgery to remove the neuroma if all of the conservative measures have failed