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When a Neuroma Feels like a Pebble

A neuroma is an enlarged nerve, commonly found in your foot. It involves the thickening of tissues surround the nerve, which causes pain. In addition to stabbing pain, nerve pain frequently consists of burning, tingling, and/or numbness. In the case of neuromas, this pain is usually increased when wearing tighter shoes or shoes with a heel. This nerve gets trapped between the long bones in our foot called metatarsals, right before they branch into our toes. Sometimes this nerve gets so enlarged that it feels as if you are walking on a pebble or marble.


How do you treat a neuroma?

  • Steroid injections- Steroid injections can be given to the area of the enlarged nerve to calm down inflammation. The sooner you come to the office for treatment after the pain begins, the more effective these injections will be.
  • Alcohol injections- Alcohol injections are given in a series of 8-10. These are used when steroid injections fail to calm down the nerve inflammation. The alcohol is a sclerosing agent that will actually shrink the nerve, eliminating your pain.
  • Surgical excision– When all else has failed, there is the option to surgically excise the enlarged nerve tissues. This procedure has an overall recovery and return to activity of about 4 weeks.

Other options that will help reduce symptoms are metatarsal pads. These help to cushion and lift the long bones of creating more space for the nerve. Metatarsal pads can even be built into orthotics! It also helps to massage the nerve or roll your foot on a golf ball to loosen it up.

If you are having nerve pain, call Hollowbrook Foot Specialists today for an appointment at (845) 298-9074. We are serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.

By: Samantha DelRegno D.P.M.

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