Cryosurgery (cryoablation) for Morton’s neuroma
Morton’s Neuroma surgery involves cutting of nerves, which can lead to a post-surgical Morton’s stump neuroma with increased pain.
Instead of treating Morton’s neuroma with surgery, doctors are using alternate methods which can be very effective.
Cryosurgery which is also called cryoablation is one such method and is frequently being used to treat Morton’s neuroma, as it does not involve nerve cutting. This type of procedure focuses on shrinking and freezing the nerve tissue, which reduces the conductivity and excitability of the affected nerve, eventually destroying a small area of the nerve through a process called Wallerian degeneration. This prevents future irritation and inflammation of the nerve – it stops the pain of Morton’s neuroma and allows Morton’s neuroma patients to go back to the life that they had.
If done under ultrasound guidance by an experienced practitioner, this treatment type has little possibility of any complications. (At the center for Morton’s neuroma, we may also use a nerve stimulator as part of the cryosurgery to further increase the accuracy of the probe placement and the accuracy of the overall procedure).
Patients treated with cryosurgery cryoablation have minimal pain in the recovery phase. Casts or crutches are not required after the surgery and the patients can return to their pre-procedure life after just a couple days in the recovery phase. It can take up to four weeks for the full effect of the cryoablation procedure on Morton’s neuroma. For more information on this option, see here.
Janet D. Pearl, MD, MSc is the Medical Director of The Center for Morton’s Neuroma and Complete Spine and Pain Care, an interventional and integrated Pain Management program located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Previously, Dr. Pearl was the Co-Director of the Pain Management Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, where she was also the Director of the Fellowship program. She is the former Director of a satellite pain center of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Pain Management Center, located at the HealthSouth Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Pearl held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School. She serves on the Health Care Services Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents since 2000 as one of its physician representatives and is Chair of the Committee on Pain Management.