2-10. MORTON'S SYNDROME
This foot disorder is a congenital insufficiency of the first metatarsal segment of
the foot, characterized by pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot. (See figure 2-1)
2-11. MORTON'S NEUROMA
Neuromas or neuralgia develop at interdigital nerves. Interdigital nerves of the
foot travel beneath the metatarsals extending distally over the ball of the foot to
innervate the toes.
NOTE: Neuroma is a tumor or new growth made up largely of nerve cells and nerve
fibers. Neuralgia is paroxysmal (sudden and violent) pain.
a. Signs/Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma
(1) Early signs and symptoms of this foot disorder include a mild ache or
discomfort in the area of the head of the 4th metatarsal.
Sometimes, the person may only feel a burning sensation or tingling in
(3) As the condition progresses, the patient may feel a burning sensation in
the tips of the toes.
(4) The patient sometimes feels as if he has a marble or pebble inside the
ball of his foot when he wears any type of footgear.
(1) Conservative treatment includes administering lidocaine for a simple
case of neuralgia as well as the use of foot orthoses (orthopedic apparatus used to
support, align, prevent, or correct deformities).
(2) If such treatment does not work, surgical incision of the neuroma often
gives complete relief from pain.
Section IV. ARTHRITIS OF THE FEET
Arthritis is a disease that attacks the joints. The disease has the potential of
causing the patient pain and/or deformity. In arthritis of the feet, the cartilage and lining
of joints become inflamed. Arthritic feet are particularly susceptible to pain because feet
have cartilage and some key joints.