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Concept: Morton's neuroma


This paper emphasizes the anatomical substrate of several foot conditions that are seldom discussed in this context. These include the insertional and non-insertional Achilles tendinopathies, plantar fasciopathy, inferior and posterior heel spurs, foot compartment syndromes, intermetatarsal bursitis and Morton’s neuroma. It is a rather superficial anatomical review of an organ that remains largely neglected by rheumatologists. It is our hope that the cases discussed and the cross examination by instructors and participants will stimulate study of the foot and the attention it deserves.

Concepts: Medicine, Biology, Foot, Anatomy, Human anatomy, Anatomical terms of location, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma


Among 101 feet that presented with symptoms and signs similar to Morton’s neuroma, intermetatarsal rheumatoid nodules were found in five feet (three patients). Two patients had bilateral involvement. Histology of the excised tissue showed the presence of a rheumatoid nodule and Morton’s neuroma in four feet and a rheumatoid nodule with unremarkable nerve bundles in one. A rheumatoid nodule can coexist with Morton’s neuroma, as seen in our patients, and the presentation is often similar to that of a Morton’s neuroma. Our patients were rendered asymptomatic with surgical treatment and went on to have appropriate management of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid nodule should be considered in the differential diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma in not only rheumatoid arthritis patients but also asymptomatic patients who have never been tested for rheumatoid antibodies.

Concepts: Medical terms, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Histopathology, Greek loanwords, Arthritis, Morton's neuroma, Rheumatoid nodule


To identify the benefits of ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation of Morton’s neuroma as an alternative to surgical excision.

Concepts: Medicine, Surgery, Excision, Radiofrequency ablation, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma, Morton's Restaurant Group


The aim of the present study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of 7 clinical tests for Morton’s neuroma (MN) compared with ultrasonography (US). Forty patients (54 feet) were diagnosed with MN using predetermined clinical criteria. These patients were subsequently referred for US, which was performed by a single, experienced musculoskeletal radiologist. The clinical test results were compared against the US findings. MN was confirmed on US at the site of clinical diagnosis in 53 feet (98%). The operational characteristics of the clinical tests performed were as follows: thumb index finger squeeze (96% sensitivity, 96% accuracy), Mulder’s click (61% sensitivity, 62% accuracy), foot squeeze (41% sensitivity, 41% accuracy), plantar percussion (37% sensitivity, 36% accuracy), dorsal percussion (33% sensitivity, 26% accuracy), and light touch and pin prick (26% sensitivity, 25% accuracy). No correlation was found between the size of MN on US and the positive clinical tests, except for Mulder’s click. The size of MN was significantly larger in patients with a positive Mulder’s click (10.9 versus 8.5 mm, p = .016). The clinical assessment was comparable to US in diagnosing MN. The thumb index finger squeeze test was the most sensitive screening test for the clinical diagnosis of MN.

Concepts: Medical terms, Diagnosis, Type I and type II errors, Assessment, Finger, Index finger, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma


Morton’s neuroma is a common foot condition affecting health-related quality of life. Though its management frequently includes steroid injections, evidence of cost-effectiveness is sparse. So, we aimed to evaluate whether steroid injection is cost-effective in treating Morton’s neuroma compared with anaesthetic injection alone.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Life, Randomized controlled trial, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Safe injection site, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma


Morton’s neuroma is one of the most common causes of metatarsalgia. Despite this, it remains little studied, as the diagnosis is clinical with no reliable instrumental diagnostics, and each study may deal with incorrect diagnosis or inappropriate treatment, which are difficult to verify. The present literature review crosses all key points, from diagnosis to surgical and nonoperative treatment, and recurrences. Nonoperative treatment is successful in a limited percentage of cases, but it can be adequate in those who want to delay or avoid surgery. Dorsal or plantar approaches were described for surgical treatment, both with strengths and weaknesses that will be scanned. Failures are related to wrong diagnosis, wrong interspace, failure to divide the transverse metatarsal ligament, too distal resection of common plantar digital nerve, an association of tarsal tunnel syndrome and incomplete removal. A deep knowledge of the causes and presentation of failures is needed to surgically face recurrences.

Concepts: Surgery, Foot, Neurosurgery, Failure, Morton's neuroma, Tarsal tunnel syndrome, Neuroma, Foot diseases


Central metatarsalgia relates to abnormalities of the second, third, and fourth metatarsals and their respective metatarsophalangeal joints. A variety of disorders present with central forefoot pain; they range from traumatic lesions (acute or chronic repetitive), inflammatory and infective disorders, nonneoplastic soft-tissue lesions, and benign tumors to malignant lesions. Patients often present with symptoms of localized pain in the forefoot that worsens on weight bearing (walking or running), which can be sharp or dull and often is perceived as a lump felt inside or underneath the foot and described as walking on a marble or pebbles. These patients are labeled as having central metatarsalgia and are further evaluated with ultrasound or MRI to establish a diagnosis.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Medical terms, Foot, Benign tumor, Tumor, Neoplasm, Morton's neuroma


The midfoot and forefoot are the regions of the foot distal to the talus and calcaneus and are critical to weight bearing and movement. They help support the arch of the foot, provide shock absorption, and convert vertically oriented forces into horizontal forward and propulsive movement. A spectrum of acute, subacute, and chronic conditions in these regions can cause pain and decreased function. A thorough history and physical examination should include foot and leg biomechanics, alignment, and posture in addition to palpation of painful areas. All patients with traumatic or overuse midfoot and forefoot injuries should be evaluated with x-rays, with the need for advanced imaging determined based on initial findings. Appropriate diagnosis and management of Lisfranc joint injuries and navicular and base of the fifth metatarsal stress fractures can prevent adverse outcomes. Management of these injuries commonly includes a period of non-weight-bearing immobilization and referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Turf toe, hallux rigidus, metatarsalgia, and Morton neuroma are common causes of forefoot pain. Treatment should be individualized and may include shoe and orthotic adjustments, injections, and, occasionally, surgical intervention.

Concepts: Bone fracture, Surgery, Foot, Hallux, Physical examination, Tarsus, Calcaneus, Morton's neuroma


A consensus on the optimal treatment of painful neuromas does not exist. Our objective was to identify available data and to examine the role of surgical technique on outcomes following surgical management of painful neuromas. In accordance with the PRISMA guidelines, we performed a comprehensive literature search to identify studies measuring the efficacy of the surgical treatment of painful neuromas in the extremities (excluding Morton’s neuroma and compression neuropathies). Surgical treatments were categorized as excision-only, excision and transposition, excision and cap, excision and repair, or neurolysis and coverage. Data on the proportion of patients with a meaningful reduction in pain were pooled and a random effects meta-analysis was performed. The effects of confounding, study quality, and publication bias were examined with stratified, meta-regression, and bias analysis. 54 articles met inclusion criteria, many with multiple treatment groups. Outcomes reporting varied significantly and few studies controlled for confounding. Overall, surgical treatment of neuroma pain was effective in 77% of patients [95% confidence interval: 73-81]. No significant differences were seen between surgical techniques. Among studies with mean pain duration greater than 24 months, or median number of operations greater than 2 prior to definitive neuroma pain surgery, excision and transposition, or neurolysis and coverage were significantly more likely than other operative techniques to result in a meaningful reduction in pain (p<0.05). Standardization in the reporting of surgical techniques, outcomes, and confounding factors is needed in future studies to enable providers to make comparisons across disparate techniques in the surgical treatment of neuroma pain.

Concepts: Surgery, Median, Neurology, Pain, Dentistry, Peripheral neuropathy, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma


Understanding the risk factors that predict the prognosis of Morton’s neuroma after corticosteroid injection would help clinicians determine the appropriate treatment protocol. However, the cut-off values for the risk factors are unknown. The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors and cut-off values that predict failure of corticosteroid injection in treatment of Morton’s neuroma.

Concepts: Value, Morality, Cutoff, Morton's neuroma, Neuroma