Friday, October 03, 2014

Mortons Neuroma - Pain in the Foot

Speaking from my own painful personal experience! This is my personal story of a Morton's Neuroma. You know, it is such a pain in the foot let me tell you! It is a real PITF! I now have a "foot to stand on" so to speak thanks to my foot surgery to excise that painful Morton's Neuroma! Oh, and it is not such a pretty foot after surgery as you will see from all my pictures.

It took me nearly two years, from when I was first diagnosed with the Morton's Neuroma, to finally opt for surgery. A variety of treatment was discussed, but I went the surgical route.

Julie Ann Brady Right Foot - Morton's Neuroma and Bunionectomy
Julie Ann Brady Right Foot - Morton's Neuroma and Bunionectomy
During the time that I endured this painful nerve condition, I found myself less and less able to comfortably wear the many shoes that I have in my closet. I was able to comfortably wear only ballerina flats. Today, after that surgery, I can wear most of the shoes in my closet.

Let me tell you about my journey with and without and hopefully you too can experience a relief from foot pain.

PS On March 18, 2019, I removed the photo of my foot showing stitches and bruising. I got notification from Google Adsense that it was "shocking content." I'm shocked about the whole thing myself.

mortons neuroma poll results
Please take our poll
Had any of these conditions? Which best describes your foot pain?
  1. Morton's Neuroma
  2. Hammer Toes
  3. Bunions
  4. Plantar's Wart
  5. Broken Toe(s)
  6. None of the above
  7. Have you had foot surgery? Tell me about it!

Dealing with foot and other issues.
I am so happy that I opted for foot surgery!

mortons neuroma healing scar of jaguarjulie right foot
By the way, isn't life sometimes quite ironic? You see, I got that Mortons Neuroma behind me and my feet were feeling pretty good! Next thing you know, those hydraulic trunk struts failed and my trunk slammed on my right hand and forearm. That was by far the MOST painful experience I have ever had when talking about body parts.

And, now? My favorite orthopedic doctor just diagnosed my hip pain as trochanteric bursitis. Can you believe that? And I thought a Morton's Neuroma was a pain! Now I literally have a pain in my right hip! Then in 2011, I had bunionectomies on my right and left feet! And I still have that surgical screw in my left foot.

"Our feet are very important to us. They carry us through life and sometimes we take them for granted. I used to wear some of the highest heels. Today, I have had a Morton's Neuroma and two bunionectomies on my feet. Treasure your feet -- or pay for it later!" --JaguarJulie

By the way, I have now had additional surgery on that same foot, but on the other side, by my GREAT toe! And, additional surgery on my left foot -- both hallux valgus corrections. I recently underwent a procedure, in my foot doctor's office, to remove the screw from my left foot. However! He couldn't get it out.

I love the internet, but not when doctors and website creators lift people's copyrighted images so that they can use them on their websites promoting Morton's Neuroma.

P.S. It's important for you to know that I am not a medical doctor. I am relaying my own personal experience with this condition. You should always consult with a physician if you have foot pain or other such maladies. -- JaguarJulie

So I knew I needed help with my foot pain!
I'd waited a really long time to get help! knew I needed a permanent fix! I did my online research and read a lot of information that seemed to contradict the FIRST podiatrist's description of the surgery!!

You see, I had thought that surgery was from the bottom of the foot. I felt that cutting the bottom of a person's foot sounded like it would take too long to heal. So, that was a big reason why I waited the two years. Thanks to the internet, you can find lots of pertinent information, including graphic pictures to give you an idea of what it is and what methods of treatment you can consider.

I had surgery on December 17, 2007 and am documenting my experience in this lenses so that other sufferers of a Morton's Neuroma will have a first-hand resource to help them. I hope my experience may be beneficial to enlighten others! I love to hear from you if you want to discuss your personal experience!

My personal experience with this malady!
Oh no, I thought -- not foot surgery!

In January 2006, I was diagnosed with a Morton's Neuroma in my initial consultation with a podiatrist.
The doctor took my history along with a couple of x-rays of my foot. He performed a manipulation of the second and third toes on my right foot. There was actually the classic "clicking" sensation with my second toe, which initially made me think I had a broken toe.

After the manipulation, the doctor was able to stimulate the "Morton's Neuroma" in that I began experiencing the foot pain that first brought me to him. It was at this first visit that surgical intervention was discussed. I opted to wait until I was prepared to proceed.

My second visit to a podiatrist
Oh no! A cortisone injection ?

Fast forward to early December 2007, nearly two years after my fist visit to a podiatrist. As the podiatrist that I had first seen had moved on to a new location, I saw the podiatrist that once shared office space with the previous doctor. Luckily, he had my records and x-rays.

It was at this visit that I was prepared, before seeing the doctor, to even have surgery the same day if possible! Yes, that's how serious I was about seeking relief from my monstrous foot pain.

Again, it was a reiteration of the previous visit and an update of my foot pain along with anything new. That day, I was offered the choice of a cortisone injection to immediately numb the pain. I opted out of that form of treatment as I did not want a temporary solution. I was given a referral to a foot specialist who performs the type of surgery I require. I scheduled an appointment for a couple days later.

My third visit to a podiatrist
What? A ligament tear and subluxation?

It's a few days later and I've gotten in to see a "foot specialist" who has done thousands of cases of Morton's Neuroma. After a couple more x-rays and the sharing of my history and symptoms, I get the news that my symptoms are not 100% classic, but rather atypical of such a diagnosis. It's thought I have a ligament tear and subluxation of the toe joint! An MRI is ordered for later that week.

An MRI of the foot!
Lie still and do not move for 30 minutes! I've been scheduled very quickly for the MRI of my right foot.
How do they prepare for this MRI? Your foot is positioned in a brace while you lay on your stomach throughout the procedure. I found this most uncomfortable as anyone who has had an MRI will tell you, the bed that you lie on is extremely hard and uncomfortable. And, being told to lie still on such a hard surface is not an easy thing to do! Well, after 30 minutes, I was happy to get up from that bed.

My fourth visit to a podiatrist
Surgery is recommended! The MRI results were interpreted ... although my symptoms were not classic Morton's Neuroma, palpitation of the foot pad, along with manipulation of my toes consistently produced the popping and clicking sounds along with a lot of foot pain.

I was given two options of treatment -- a conservative approach which involved a series of alcohol-base injections into the foot. The podiatrist told me that results were reported to be successful 50% of the time. The other option was surgery. "I'll take the surgery ... can we do it Friday?" That's what I actually said to my foot doctor, with no hesitation whatsoever. Let's get it done!

Well, the doctor was willing to have it done Friday, but the outpatient facility was booked solid. So, surgery was scheduled for the following Monday at 6:30am.

Online Resources on Morton's Neuroma
  • Morton's Neuroma from Wikipedia
    Learn more about Morton's Neuroma from our favorite online free encyclopedia. You can get a pretty good overview of the science behind this foot problem.
  • Morton's Neuroma from
    You get a fairly comprehensive overview. The Mayo Clinic is a reputable source for medial information. Learn more about treatment, including surgery, for this painful foot growth.
  • OrthoInfo - AAOS
    Check with the Their website was codeveloped by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
  • WebMD
    What is Morton's neuroma,and what causes it? Morton's neuroma is a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of your foot.

Surgery to excise that THING!
Bright and early 5:20am!

We reported to the Outpatient Facility bright and early. Many trees were killed for my paperwork! Next, we were greeted by a very friendly welcoming nurse who did the weigh-in. I was given a nice plaid hospital gown to change into and then had my vitals taken along with the insertion of the scary IV [I HATE that part!].

I met the anesthesiologist who explained what he'd be doing. I didn't know that I'd have BOTH a local in the foot and twilight. After waiting a short bit, I said goodbye to hubby and was wheeled across the room to another docking area where I was hooked up to a blood pressure monitor. I met a few more nurses and was given two injections into my IV that put me out while my foot was injected with the local. I was told that the alkaline substance for the local burns and feels like a bee stinging -- since it can be so painful, that's why you're "knocked out."

I'm pretty sure that I came to briefly after the local as I thought someone told me that they had just given me the shots in my foot.

I lost track of time as the next thing I remembered was being shown a jar with my Morton's Neuroma and being told HOW REALLY BIG it was! "So it was a Morton's Neuroma!" I think I said. I remember it being creamy yellow in color and about the size of a chickpea or garbanzo bean!

I was released by 8:30am with instructions for rest, ice packs, keeping the foot elevated, and ibuprofen for pain. A follow-up visit with my doctor was scheduled for 3 days out.

Morton's Neuroma Foot Surgery
Day after surgery. JaguarJulie is walking a wee bit better!

Morton's Neuroma Foot Surgery jaguarjulie right foot bandaged
As you can see, my foot is pretty well bandaged so that it fits into NONE of my flat shoes or sandals. I did find a pair of hubby's all-terrain sandals that have two velcro closures ... so I'm using that for my right shoe.

The day of surgery I rested on the sofa with my foot up and iced my foot throughout the day. I believe the local hadn't worn off yet, so it felt OK. You don't realize how much you need to "walk" or use your foot until you've had foot surgery! By the end of the day, I was feeling discomfort on the underside of my foot.

The next day, my discomfort seemed to be more on the top of the foot -- perhaps the injection areas or the incision?

The second day after surgery I was actually able to put on my hubby's shoe and drive about 15 minutes to an appointment without too much discomfort.

mortons neuroma surgery off your feet instructions
Off your feet : A Major Ouch!
Trying to walk the first week after surgery
is pretty painful on the ball of your foot!

Six days Post-Op

My return visit to the podiatrist was 3 days after surgery when he changed my bandage. For some reason, that visit coincided with the increased discomfort from the ball of my foot when trying to walk. It's been necessary to hobble and balance on the heel of the surgical foot.

It's now 6 days since surgery -- with the assistance of my hubby -- I've got a picture of my foot from the top and sole. As you can see, the bruising isn't too bad and the swelling is now fairly limited to the ball of my foot.

Since the podiatrist changed my dressing, I've kept my foot elevated as much as possible and used ice off and on throughout the day. I was instructed by the podiatrist when he changed my dressing that I should be applying ice to the ball of the foot. So the fifth day was the longest day that my foot was "on ice."

You can see the 3 stitches which we actually removed in the BVI on a catamaran on the 13th day! Normally, stitches are removed 12-14 days after surgery.

PS I also removed this photo on March 18, 2019 because of Google Adsense saying it was "shocking content."

mortons neuroma post op surgery swollen foot on vacation
Going on vacation
I wouldn't recommend it.

Want to talk about some extra pain? Take a look at my swollen vacation foot! Don't do what I did. Do not plan on traveling within 10 days of surgery!

After over 4 hours on 2 planes along with a week on a 44' catamaran, I had the most swollen feet.

It was a bit uncomfortable watching my feel swell. You see, I needed to have my stitches removed before my feet got any larger.

Doctor's appointment: Six Weeks Post-Op

mortons neuroma post op six weeks surgery scar
February 28, 2008 - Release from surgery and MRI results for other foot!

Well, I am officially released some 8 weeks after surgery for the excision of the Morton's Neuroma on my right foot. However, I had an MRI of my left foot to rule-out yet another one of those!

Results are in:
1. Intermetatarsal bursitis. No Morton's neuroma seen.
2. There are small metatarsophalangeal joint effusions diffusely.
3. First metatarsophalangeal joint osteoarthritis.

Interesting enough, the MRI of my right foot didn't show one either! See my right foot? That is six weeks post op. I would say my foot is actually looking good!

Wearing the Royce Medical Equalizer Premium Air Walker

mortons neuroma surgery wearing royce air walker
What's cool about this air walker is that it is designed to fit your left or right foot.

And, that was a good thing for me as I wore it on both my right and left feet!

I've worn the walker for my morton's neuroma and then two bunionectomies, one on each foot.

Unrelated to those surgeries, I was having extra issues with my left foot having to do with a tear in my achilles tendon and had to wear this walker for 4 weeks.

So, you see, you can get extra mileage out of that air walker!

6 Months Post-Op Morton's Neuroma Surgery
JaguarJulie's Feet Looking and Feeling Good

mortons neuroma six months post op jaguarjulie right foot

Do you have a Morton's Neuroma?
Please take a moment to answer our question and comment, if you like! Been diagnosed yet with one of these?
  1. Yes
  2. I don't know, maybe
  3. No, I guess I am lucky

mortons neuroma poll results

What does surgery cost?
Oh, all the bills haven't arrived yet, but I had previously seen that my insurance company did not initially accept the $130.00 laboratory charge for the pathology of the excised Morton's Neuroma. But, the lab has responded that they will probably write off the charge if my insurance company doesn't pay it! It has been estimated that my surgery cost ballpark $10,000.

Post-Op : 18 Months
Wow, 1-1/2 years since surgery. Time has flown by.

mortons neuroma scar at 18 months jaguarjulie

Take a look at the photo of my right foot. I put in the two arrows so that you can see the scar from my foot surgery. This is 18 months after that surgery.

Have you had treatment for Morton's Neuroma?

mortons neuroma treatment poll results
Please take a moment to answer our poll question and comment if you like! Had any of these treatments?
  1. Foot rest
  2. Orthopedic shoes
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications
  4. Corticosteroid injections
  5. Surgical treatment

More Foot Surgery!

Sometimes it seems the pain will never stop in my feet. I had Morton's Neuroma surgery on December 2007.

Fast forward to April 2011 and another foot operation; i.e. a Hallux Valgus Correction on my right foot!

Have you ever experienced foot pain? Ever had foot surgery? Can you wear high heels without experiencing a pain in your foot? Drop me a line ... as I'd love to hear from you!

PS YES, I removed this photo as well on March 18, 2019.

Having Foot Surgery?

May I recommend that you get one of these! Royce Medical Equalizer Premium Air Walker - Large AW0800.

I got mine online when I knew I would be having foot surgery.

I actually have it still in my closet.

I have used it on four occasions ... Morton's neuroma surgery, bunionectomies of the right foot and then the left foot, and torn achilles tendon on the left foot! Whew. Are we done yet?

History: Morton's Neuroma : A Pain in the Foot was originally created on Squidoo by JaguarJulie on December 3, 2007. On July 29, 2010 this lens earned the Purple Star Award for quality content. Highest lensrank ever achieved: #255 overall. Lens #177 in the quest for Giant Squid 200 Club.


Masterofsparks said...

You had this surgery 10 years ago and it apoears it worked for you. I am a man suffering from Morton's Neuroma in both feet. Dr. Wants to operate. I have read one horror story after another about failed surgeries, the cut nerve is supposed to be buried in a muscle but there are a lot of cases it seems that it does not work and the person is left in worse shape than prior to surgery. Did your Dr warn you of any of this?

Julie Ann Brady said...

I don't believe my doctor gave me such a warning. I had done a lot of Google research before I had the surgery. I think, all in all, I am better for having done it. There obviously are risks with all surgeries.

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