Traditionally, doctors surgically remove forefoot neuromas by making a small incision between the two impacted toes and cutting the affected nerve, according to Houston Methodist Hospitals. They then stitch and cover the incision. The traditional procedure leaves the area supplied by the nerve permanently numb.
An alternative surgical method to combat the pain of forefoot neuromas is to cut the ligament located between the impacted metatarsal bones, explains Houston Methodist Hospitals. The surgery minimizes the metatarsal's pinching or squeezing action, thereby removing the irritation. The surgical procedure on the ligament does not leave permanent numbness in the toes although, if the surgery fails, the doctor may perform the traditional nerve-cutting procedure.
Doctors usually perform both surgical procedures on an outpatient basis, notes Houston Methodist Hospitals. The patient receives either general anesthesia or regional anesthesia and returns home the same day. The foot is tender for several days, and the patient may use crutches during that period. The surgical bandage remains on the foot for approximately one week post-surgery, and the doctor typically removes the stitches within two weeks.
Nonsurgical treatments for neuromas include cortisone or lidocaine injections, advises Houston Methodist Hospitals. Additionally, sometimes wearing wider shoes eliminates or reduces the pain. Firm shoe soles minimize the amount of stretching of the forefoot while walking.