Can Morton's Neuroma Be Cured?

Non-invasive and surgical treatments are available

If you’ve been diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, you should know that there are treatments that can help alleviate your pain. And in some instances, the condition can be cured. A neuroma is an inflammed nerve, and it can be caused by things like tight shoes, or it may develop as a result of foot deformities. While there are several causes of forefoot pain, Morton’s neuroma is one of the most common causes.

A woman rubbing her foot while trying on shoes
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

About Morton’s Neuroma

Symptoms of Morton's neuroma involve pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, and/or burning of the front of the foot. People with this condition may complain of a sensation that feels like walking on a rolled-up sock.

Morton’s neuroma is an inflamed nerve that occurs on the ball of the foot (bottom), usually just behind the 3rd and 4th toes. The nerve can become irritated by the surrounding bones (metatarsal bones). The condition has also been termed an intermetatarsal neuroma.

What starts as inflammation can result in scar tissue forming around the nerve, and in some cases, enlargement of the nerve. This nerve is particularly sensitive to excessive pressure on the foot. The neuroma can occur in people who wear high heels and tight-fitting shoes.

Non-Invasive Therapies

Conservative, non-invasive therapies are the first-line approach to treating Morton's neuroma. Treatments vary according to the severity of the condition and may include:

  • RICE: RICE is the acronym for rest, ice application, bandage compression, and elevation of the foot.
  • Foot padding: Cushioning the ball of the foot may lessen symptoms, and off-weighting pads may be effective.
  • Orthotics: Arch supports may better align the foot and take the pressure off the nerves. You can also use a metatarsal pad or neuroma pad modified to the orthotic.
  • Anti-Inflammatory medications: Medications that decrease inflammation, such as Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen sodium), may help reduce pain.
  • Intraarticular injections: There are two types of injections for Morton’s neuroma. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that can be administered every six to eight weeks to quickly reduce inflammation. Alcohol injections, also called sclerosing injections, are used to deaden or deactivate the nerve.


Morton's neuroma can be treated with surgery. Surgery may be considered if conservative therapies don't provide adequate relief and there is evidence of subluxation (partial dislocation) of the metatarsal joints. This can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT).

Morton’s Neurectomy

Morton's neurectomy is the most common surgical approach. The procedure involves removing the nerve segment. Surgeons generally approach the area from the top of the foot, identify the nerve and follow it toward the toes as it courses through the metatarsal bones. It is important that the surgeon cut the nerve far back to avoid the nerve from becoming entrapped or scarred on the ball of the foot.

The outcomes after Morton's neurectomy are generally good. According to a study conducted at Nottingham University Hospital in England, 82% of people who underwent the operation reported good to excellent results. Roughly one out of 12(8%) experienced no improvement at all.

Some surgeons approach neuromas from the bottom of the foot for direct visualization, but this leaves a scar on the bottom of the foot—which can become painful to walk on.


Another surgical approach is the release of a ligament adjacent to the nerve to decompress the area. During this procedure, the nerve is left intact. The procedure is performed with small specialized instruments.

The main benefit of surgical decompression is that is less invasive than Morton's neurectomy. A small study conducted in Japan in 2015 found it to be highly effective in reducing pain with minimal risk of complications. Surgical decompression may be appropriate for people with persistent pain, and who do not have signs of metatarsal subluxation.

A Word From Verywell

In general. Morton’s neuroma responds well to conservative treatments, and in some cases, surgery can be effective. The most important aspect of getting the right treatment for your foot pain is to be sure that the diagnosis is correct. For example, bunions and hammertoes are known to transfer weight onto the ball of the foot and inflame nerves, causing Morton's neuroma. These conditions would require treatments that help prevent worsening, or that alleviate the anatomical problem.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Santos D, Morrison G, Coda A. Sclerosing alcohol injections for the management of intermetatarsal neuromas: a systematic review. Foot (Edinb). 2018;35:36-47. doi:10.1016/j.foot.2017.12.003

  2. Gougoulias N, Lampridis V, Sakellariou A. Morton's interdigital neuroma: instructional review. EFORT Open Rev. 2019;4(1):14-24. doi:10.1302/2058-5241.4.180025

  3. Pace A, Scammell B, Dhar S. The outcome of Morton's neurectomy in the treatment of metatarsalgia. Int Orthop. 2010;34(4):511-5. doi:10.1007/s00264-009-0812-3

  4. Kubota M, Ohno R, Ishijima M, et al. Minimally invasive endoscopic decompression of the intermetatarsal nerve for Morton's neuroma. J Orthop. 2015;12(Suppl 1):S101-4. doi:10.1016/j.jor.2014.01.004

By Neal Blitz, DPM, FACFAS
 Neal Blitz, DPM, FACFAS, is a board-certified doctor of podiatric medicine and creator of the Bunionplasty procedure.