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.
SURGICAL RISK INCREASES WITH
- 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
- Before surgery: Blood and urine studies; x-rays of the foot.
- After surgery: Laboratory examination of removed tissue.
ANESTHESIA--Local anesthesia by injection.
DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION
- 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
AVERAGE HOSPITAL STAY--0 to 1 day.
PROBABLE OUTCOME--Expect complete healing without complications. Allow about 3
weeks for recovery from surgery.
† 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--
† 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
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.