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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 17516
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My 4th toe on both feet start to feel numb on and off

Customer Question

My 4th toe on both feet start to feel numb on and off recently. I went to a podiatrist and he said it is mortons neuroma. He padded my custom insole near the arch. It has been about a couple of months but is getting worse now. I also tried icing and self massage, but did see them helping much. Is Mortons neuroma the only possible cause? What is the best way to treat?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

There are other possible causes of these symptoms besides a Morton Neuroma, although a Morton Neuroma certainly is fairly common. Other possible diagnoses include various inflammatory disorders, a tendon sheath ganglion, a stress fracture, or a foreign body reaction. If there is any uncertainty of the diagnosis, then an MRI can help to clarify the diagnosis.

If the current interventions are not helpful, then it would be reasonable to see a Physical Therapist for more aggressive physical modalities. Oral anti-inflammatory medicines and steroid injections have also been used. if footwear modification and physical therapy have not been effective. Stubborn cases may also require surgery.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In my last email, I actually meant icing and massage did not help much. My current symptom, numbing, is not bothering me tremendously. Since I see a common symptom for morton's neuroma is pain, I am worried about mine getting developed to that point. Is it common that it starts with only numbing and then develops to pain? How fast or how long does it take for it get much worse if I don't change anything I do and don't treat it? Thank you for answering me questions.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The progression of symptoms is quite variable, so cannot be predicted for any individual. It is true that one of the common patterns is for the initial symptoms to be numbness and then later develop pain, but the time frame cannot be predicted. In addition, while the interventions that have been done has not been effective at easing the numbness, it may be sufficient to keep it from getting worse, so it may never progress to having pain.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Make sense... may be able to keep it from getting worse. My feeling of numbness is often not when I am standing or walking, sometimes my feet are not even touching anything. Is this consistent with morton's neuroma?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, this can happen with a Morton's neuroma, although it can happenwith the other conditions noted above as well.