Neuromas

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of the body creating nerve damage. Morton’s neuroma is the most common neuroma in the foot. It occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes.

If you have a Morton’s neuroma, you will likely experience the following symptoms:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot

The symptoms begin gradually and occur only occasionally at first. This generally happens when one is wearing narrow shoes or performing certain activities. The symptoms may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding activities that brought on the pain.

However, over time, the symptoms progressively worsen and may persist for several days or weeks at a time. The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma grows in size and the nerve damage becomes more permanent.
People with certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, flat feet or hypermobile feet, are at high risk for developing a neuroma. Individuals who participate in activities that require a repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot are also at risk.

Treatments generally include wearing corrective shoes or orthotics and/or receiving cortisone injections. In severe cases, surgical removal of the growth may be necessary. Newer on the scene is laser treatment to shrink the neuroma. The benefit of this is that it is non invasive and the neural pathway is not interrupted.

Warts

Warts are benign (noncancerous) growths which can occur when the human papilloma virus (HPV) invades the body. Plantar warts appear on the plantar surface, or sole of the foot.  They are really no different than any other wart, although because of their location, they are more likely to look relatively flat as opposed to raised. Most warts are diagnosed based on their appearance. They are generally rough and spongy, and most are gray, brown, or yellow with dark pinpoints—these pinpoints are tiny capillaries that supply blood to the wart.

. The virus is often  present on contaminated surfaces, such as the tile floors of public locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools.

Some people are more prone to the virus that causes plantar warts than others. Risk factors include:

  • Repeated HPV exposure. For example, walking barefoot in public locker rooms and common public areas.
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Heredity
  • Age – Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults.

In some instances, the virus can be transmitted to the toes from other areas of the body. This is called remote location seeding.

When first identified, people often feel a “lump” on the bottom of the foot when standing, related to having a stone in the shoe. If left untreated, plantar warts can develop and may spread into clumps (called mosaic warts). In serious cases, they cause a change in gait or posture that leads to leg or back pain.

It really is possible that a variety of other more severe lesions, including carcinomas and melanomas (cancers), can be mistakenly identified as warts. As a result of those identification issues, it is wise to consult a podiatrist about any suspicious development or eruption on the skin of the feet.

 

 

Author: tammy gracen

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