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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Heard of Morton's Neuroma?

By December 29, 2012

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I just got diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma, which is a benign swelling of nerves in the ball of the foot. "Benign" as it may be, it is as painful as anything that I have ever experienced, preventing me from being able to walk normally. Rather, I had to shuffle along, putting my weight on the side of the affected foot, which led to pain in that knee and leg. It was intermittent, painful for 3 days, then completely not noticeable for the next 7 to 10 days.

When I finally got diagnosed, of course I mentioned my MS to the podiatrist. He asked if I had ever heard of a linkage between MS and Morton's neuroma. I haven't - and it didn't even cross my mind that there might be a connection.

It just didn't seem like an MS symptom to me, from the nature of the pain. The doctor didn't think there was a connection, either, but it started me thinking and I thought I would ask you, as I have been surprised by the responses that I have gotten from these sorts of questions before. Have you ever had symptoms of Morton's Neuroma? Was it before or after your MS diagnosis? Did anyone ever suggest that there might be a connection with your MS? Leave your story in the comments section below.

Comments
December 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm
(1) Nancy Stynen says:

I have Morton’s Neuroma. As you described it changed my activities a great deal. My neurologist sent me to a podiatrist who prescribed heat and ice therapy, injections into the nerve, and said if that didn’t work, he could prescribe surgery. I tried the heat and ice which allowed some relief. I said no to the shots (they don’t work) and no to the surgery. At the drug store I saw some toe spacers. They are soft plastic and I wear between the two toes that are affected by the swelling of the nerve. I wear a wide shoe (brand SAS) and have complete comfort when walking. The rest of my show wardrobe is not usable anymore. The podiatrist knew of my MS but made no connection. Your article is the first I have heard of thoughts connecting these problems. Thank you.

January 2, 2013 at 11:26 am
(2) Marcy says:

I saw a neuro close to 30 years ago d/t numbness and tingling on my R foot. He said he suspected MS and wanted to do an EMG. I asked why he suspected MS and he told me it was because of my recent fall history. I explained, yet again, that the fall was d/t slipping on a puddle of spilled salad dressing, so I went to another neuro for a 2nd opinion. He diagnosed Mortons Neuroma. From there I was seen my a podiatrist, had surgery and never had another problem. Until 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with MS. Is there a connection? I dont know. To quote the comment prior to mine “Your article is the first I have heard of thoughts connecting these problems”.

January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm
(3) Adele says:

I was diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma before officially being diagnosed with MS, went through the cortozone injections which really didn’t help all that much. When I went back to the podiatrist after I had been diagnosed with MS and I casually mentioned that I had it – he seemed nervous and did not want to give me any more injections. He told me I should ice it. I’ve always had foot issues, but that is because I’ve always worn high heels & still do. I really was surprised to see this article since I was not aware that neuroma and MS were possible related and plan on mentioning this to my neurologist the next time I see him.

January 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm
(4) Karin says:

I was diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma in both feet many years before my MS started. It became so painful that I opted for the surgery. One thing the podiatrist did not tell me is that they can return, which is what happen in my right foot. Having had a very bad reaction to the anesthesia for cancer surgery I will have to live with the pain now. I found out if I wear shoes that are not to narrow the pain is not too bad, also some days are worse then others. Good luck to you.

January 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm
(5) richard mcquary says:

Morton’s Neuroma, hadn’t heard of it until reading this article — and thanks for the information. My MS began with numbness in the toes 45-years ago. However, the MS became aggessive only about 5-years ago and has worked it’s way half way up my body now. But I began having a drilling, almost like a tickle sensation, deep into each heel, commensurate with the increasing MS symptoms (numbness). So I’ll check with my Neuro today. Thanks for the tip.

January 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm
(6) Desi Justis says:

I was treated for Morton’s Neuroma in December 2012. The pain is terrible, just like everyone has said. My orthopedic doc injected the spot and I have not had pain in the area since. He did tell me to make sure I was wearing shoes that are wide. That’s interesting since I have a wide foot and must wear wide shoes anyway. He said I needed to purchase good shoes from someone who can measure my foot and size me correctly. I just haven’t had the heart to purchase what the doc called “old lady shoes”. He knew I have MS but didn’t think there was a relationship between MS and the neuroma.

January 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm
(7) Brenda H says:

I was a competitive skater in my younger years and blamed my feet being crammed into the boots for my Morton’s neuroma. After I quit skating, and during the time I went to an accupuncturist for the chronic yucky feeling, she recommended that I wear shoes like Burkenstocks and then I found Danskos because of the Morton’s neuroma.

I have lived in the combination of those two shoes for the past 15 years–I found that as long as I don’t have something tied around my foot (like a tennis shoe or hiking boots), the Morton’s neuroma doesn’t rear it’s ugly head.

High heels have always been out of the question—even in high school, I would lose my balance and fall. But the occasional time that I did wear them, my right foot with the neuroma hurt for several weeks afterward.

I was diagnosed with the Morton’s neuroma 15 years ago…MS going into my 4th year of positive dx, but looking back….hmmm symptoms go into high school.

January 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm
(8) Jane Tod says:

Just what I had been thinking about recently !!
Some years ago having gone all around the houses (doctor, osteopath, chiropractor and others, a final osteopath said ‘I know what it is’ and diagnosed Morton’s Neuroma (the first time I had heard of it). So off I went to the podiatrist and had very helpful spacers for the toes and inserts for shoes and exercises to do. This was all very helpful and the pain started to recede and walking became less difficult. Some years later optic neuritis and then a different difficulty in walking happened (the optic neuritis went away after two months) finally a trainee General Pracitioner joined up the dots and I had an MRI scan and a neurologist confirmed the MS diagnosis.
So I am glad to read here about other people’s experiences and find for me more dots being joined up. I feel confirmed that my body is making sense of (ie responding in many different ways ) what’s going on with the myelin sheath – even though as the neurologist said at the time of my diagnosis (eighteen months ago) ‘we know very little about this’ !
Thank you for starting this thread.

January 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm
(9) Linda says:

I had Morton’s neuroma diagnosed several years ago. I tried various options, including wearing Birkenstocks. That was the only thing that worked. Eventually even my beloved Birks weren’t enough to avoid surgery. I had the surgery a year or two before the MS diagnosis, but several years after the first MS symptoms. I still get tingling and achiness around the site of the neuroma, but not often. Still wear Birks 95% of the time.

January 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm
(10) Louise says:

I haven’t been diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma but have had terrible debilitating pain in my feet for a number of years. Was diagnose with MS 5 1/2 years ago… I automatically put the pain down to MS and haven’t talked to a dr about it. Just thought I had to put up with it….will be asking him about it very soon! I definitely think there is a link.

January 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm
(11) Mary says:

I had a morton’s neuroma, injections helped.

January 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm
(12) Mary Fisher says:

ThIs is an interesting question.It would make an interesting study. I had morton’s neuroma before my diagnosis of MS, 10 yrs ago. I only did symptomatic treatment i.e. proper shoes, ice, etc. Since MS symptoms more pronounced , I haven’t had issues with a flair of the neuroma.,

January 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm
(13) Jeri says:

I have had Morton’s neuroma since my MS diagnosis. It was hard to walk because it hurt so much. I saw a podiatrist who recommended the pads and a pair of orthotics (expensive but very helpful). I did take the injections, too, which helped but not for very long. I had the surgery and it’s made all the difference. Now I have an area of numbness around the base of my toes, but no pain. I’ve developed a feeling of my foot being squeezed sideways in the last year. He believes that’s an
MS “gift”. It doesn’t interfere with walking so I don’t mind it much.

I’ve started to believe that anything that happens to me is probably an MS thing. I find out I’m wrong many times, but that’s always my first guess anymore.

January 8, 2013 at 10:24 am
(14) JG says:

I was diagnosed with RRMS in 2004 and had surgery to remove a Morton’s Neuroma tumor in late 2011. It took a year for my foot to fully recover from the surgery. Now I am experiencing similar pain in my other foot so I suspect I have Morton’s Neuroma again.

March 25, 2013 at 2:47 am
(15) Amity says:

I believe that I have a Mortons neuroma as well. I was diagnosed last September. After my first dose of prednisone my right foot got the pain and lump under it. It eventually went away after a month it two. My doctor couldn’t figure out what it was and I don’t have insurance to see a podiatrist. I just got out of the hospital from an exacerbation and was given prednisone again and my foot is hurting again. Does anyone have this connection between Mortons nueroma and prednisone?

March 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm
(16) pam says:

i was awoken at 2am this morning with my right foot feeling like it was being squeezed – unable to flex or bend my toes or ankle. I had this same issue about 3-4 yrs ago ….had to do some investigating and came across this site. I was diagnosed with MS 22 yrs ago. and have been asymptomatic for 20 yrs…..interesting to learn of all the people who have suffered from this symptom as well. Will be calling my neuro MD on Monday!

Stay well everyone! We can beat MS!!!

June 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm
(17) Forrest says:

I was diagnosed MN on my left foot about 2 years ago. I felt like stepped on a little stone when I was walking. not too much pain but annoying. my podiatrist told me to use arch support which did help a little bit. recently I put a toes separator between my 3rd and 4th toeses and my pain almost gone! hope this will help you all.

September 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(18) snoopygirl says:

I had both my toes removed from Osteoarthritis , after 30 years I decided to remove both the joints that didn’t work, I had difficulty in walking for years … but went back to work for 18 more years after many more surgeries I was working one day I got a major pain under my second toe joint,,,,, after two weeks of more pain I went to see a Doc and I was diagnosed with neuritis after two years plus I finally got it operated on and he had to go in twice because he couldn’t fine the Neuroma Head, after the second surgery I had no feeling in the second toe, and the Neuroma has harden and cant be removed , and now I live with the pain everyday : ( I am waiting for an MRI scan and to see a a neurologist . I was wondering what ( MS diagnosis.) you guys are all talking about ??? and how they find it?

Thanks again Lucy

October 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(19) Angela says:

I was diagnosed in 2011 with two neuromas in my right foot. At first it felt like my sock was crumpling in my shoe but I was wearing knee high stockings. Then the feeling of a rock inside my foot accompanied by a lot of rawness, numbness and tingling, a neuropathy. The foot doctor sent me for an MRI which showed a lot of bursitis, arthritis along with two neuromas. I’ve always had ball of the foot pain behind the large toe, since 19 years old. Orthotics helped that. I was diagnosed with MS in 1992. The doctors all scratch their heads as nothing helped my neuromas, not cortisone (actually aggravated the tingling and raw pain) and not the scleratherapy. Two sets of orthotics and 5 podiatrists later I’m back to square one. Orthotics even aggravate it, so now I wear “ProFoot over the counter orthodics. I just ordered a pair of Sketchers with the memory foam inserts. My MS is aggravated by the way I’m walking and I’m 60 years old now. I wish there were an answer for the neuromas. My left foot is getting one now, I feel it.

December 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm
(20) Melbi says:

I was diagnosed with Mortonís Neuroma 1 year ago. I have had severe pain on the ball of the foot and at the base of the toes and it got worse over time. It lead to cramp in my toes and a sharp shooting or burning pain on the ball of my foot and at the base of my toes . I rested for about two weeks and did some research about it and I found this article to be very helpful http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2012/12/shint-splints-self-help-tips-treatment-and-prevention-from-team-doctors/ in explaining why we get Mortonís Neuroma and how it can be prevented. . Video tutorials are included in the article so you can see how to integrate self help techniques .

December 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm
(21) Kelly says:

I typed in “Are MN and MS related” and all of this popped up. I’m thinking you have answered that. I have been diagnosed with a MN. Had it for a while though. Then a muscle spasm in my back, horrible ones at night in my legs and numbness in my hand made me think all my junk might be related. Just coming to the conclusion I have MS. Going to the dr asap. Freaked out reading all of your painful stories. I am feeling I have about 13 of the symptoms. Never realized they were related. However, I also have all the symptoms for being a hypochondriac. Perhaps that is all it is…

January 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm
(22) Jennifer says:

Hi folks, I have had MS since 1995 and was just doing searches on the internet to find some sort of connection of Morton’s Neuroma to Multiple Sclerosis. I am having incredible foot pain anytime I wear shoes. I have always worn a wide width and most of the time a pretty comfortable shoe. I have slowly been able to tolerate fewer shoes, so now I’m down to just two or three pairs that don’t make me want to scream. The pain shoots from the toes up into my leg and makes me feel nauseous. Burns really bad!
I’m going to call the neuro and make a new appt. I can’t handle the pain anymore, gabapentin doesn’t even touch it.

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