The exact cause of Morton’s neuroma is not known. Researchers believe that the persistent pain in the fore-foot is the result of thickening or damage to the interdigital nerve due to chronic physical stress or irritation in the ball of the foot (the planter region) between the metatarsal heads. The irritation can sometime cause fibrosis or swelling of the fibers or tissues in the vicinity of plantar nerve. The irritated fibers can develop a mass or swelling (resembling a benign growth; hence the term neuroma). For a scientific discussion of Morton’s neuroma click here.
Certain predisposing anatomical or environmental factors that may aggravate the risk of Morton’s neuroma are:
Besides above listed risk factors, wrong choice of shoes (ill-fitting, narrow, worn-out shoes) can also aggravate your chances of developing this condition. Likewise, any lifestyle or occupational activity that increases the pressure or tension in the region of the forefoot can also increase your chances of developing Morton’s neuroma.
Certain sports or activities have a higher likelihood of developing Morton’s neuroma include:
It is very important to accurately diagnose your foot pain since many conditions can mimic Morton’s neuroma.