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General Information

DEFINITION--Removal of Morton's neuroma, a small benign tumor in the nerve that serves the toes. Its cause is unknown and it produces severe pain.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED--A small tumor between the 2nd and 3rd toes or the 3rd and 4th toes. It may occur in either or both feet.

REASONS FOR SURGERY--Relief of pain caused by the neuroma.


  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Recent or chronic illness.
  • Use of drugs such as: antihypertensives; muscle relaxants; tranquilizers; sleep inducers; insulin; sedatives; beta-adrenergic blockers; or cortisone.
  • Use of mind-altering drugs, including: narcotics; psychedelics; hallucinogens; marijuana; sedatives; hypnotics; or cocaine.

What To Expect

WHO OPERATES--Orthopedist, podiatrist.

WHERE PERFORMED--Hospital, outpatient surgical facility, doctor's office or emergency room.


  • Before surgery: Blood and urine studies; x-rays of the foot.
  • After surgery: Laboratory examination of removed tissue.

ANESTHESIA--Local anesthesia by injection.


  • A tourniquet is wrapped around the leg to prevent the surgical area from bleeding.
  • The neuroma is located, cut free from surrounding tissue and removed.
  • The skin is closed with sutures, which usually can be removed about 10 to 14 days after surgery. The tourniquet is removed.


  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Surgical-wound infection.
  • Numbness in toes due to cut nerve (less bothersome for most patients than the previous pain).


PROBABLE OUTCOME--Expect complete healing without complications. Allow about 3 weeks for recovery from surgery.

Postoperative Care

† Between baths, keep the wound dry with a bandage for the first 2 or 3 days after surgery. If a bandage gets wet, change it promptly. Apply non--

    prescription antibiotic ointment to the wound before applying new bandages.

  • Keep the foot elevated as much as possible during recovery.

† You may use non--prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen, for minor pain.

† To help recovery and aid your well--

    being, resume daily activities, including work, as soon as you are able.

  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 6 weeks after surgery. > Resume driving 1 week after returning home.

DIET---No special diet.

Call Your Doctor If

† Pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding increases in the surgical area.

  • You develop signs of infection: headache, muscle aches, dizziness or a general ill feeling and fever.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
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