Dr. Corey Fox
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Long Island Podiatrist serving Massapequa and all of Nassau County

A neuroma is a non-cancerous foot condition that is extremely unlikely to resolve on its own. However, neuroma surgery is generally considered a last resort for treatment. Before a procedure can be considered, certain criteria must be met. Our Long Island podiatrists at Massapequa Podiatry Associates are dedicated to providing individualized foot care using a combination of conservative and advanced treatment options. But it’s best to schedule an appointment soon, as delaying treatment can worsen the problem and require higher levels of care. 

Causes of Neuromas Right Time for Neuroma Surgery

A neuroma is caused by bones or tissues on either side of a nerve applying pressure to the nerve, creating inflammation, pain, and discomfort. It’s unclear what causes neuromas, but irritation to the forefoot increases the risk. Some examples of forefoot irritants are:

  • Irregularly shaped feet
  • Biomechanical issues in the foot
  • Trauma
  • Footwear that squeezes the toes together or doesn’t provide proper support

Signs of Neuroma

Different patients experience various types of neuroma symptoms. They often include:

  • Sensation like a fold in their sock or a pebble in their shoe
  • Foot cramping 
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Radiating pain between the third and fourth toes

Receiving an Accurate Diagnosis

To determine that your discomfort is the result of a neuroma, a comprehensive diagnosis starts with a thorough physical examination, imaging tests, and a discussion of your symptoms. 

While some foot conditions initially present like a neuroma, it’s important that an experienced practitioner carefully perform a more in-depth exam to verify if you have a neuroma or some other issue causing your pain. The podiatrists in our Long Island office are all trained to diagnose a variety of conditions that can cause chronic foot and heel pain.

Exhausting Less Invasive Options

There are several non-surgical neuroma treatments the foot and ankle pain experts at Massapequa Podiatry Associates recommend, including: 

Types of Neuroma Surgery

If it’s determined that you have a neuroma and surgery is the most effective treatment option, our Long Island podiatry team wants you to be prepared. A couple of different procedures could be considered, both of which are generally quick outpatient operations.

Nerve Decompression Surgery

This minimally invasive procedure relieves pressure on the affected nerve by cutting tissue around it.


In the most severe of neuroma cases, it may be necessary to remove the impacted nerve entirely. This won’t change your foot functioning.

Surgery Risks

While surgery for neuroma is considered to be effective for about 70 percent of patients, one of the reasons that our Long Island foot and ankle pain experts don’t immediately recommend it is we’d rather work through the less invasive methods first, as there are always risks associated with any surgical procedure. Here are a few to consider. 

Wounds and Infections

Although infections after surgery are uncommon, they occur in approximately 2 percent of cases. 

Pain and Swelling

It’s also not uncommon for patients to experience minor pain and swelling for up to 12 weeks immediately following surgery. However, in some cases, another neuroma develops on or near the previously impacted site, which can be highly painful and require a second procedure. Scarring from the operation can also cause pain.

Loss of Sensation

If part of a nerve is removed, there could be some sensation loss within small portions of the adjacent toes or even in an entire toe. Around 72 percent of patients experience some degree of numbness following a neurectomy.

Recovery Time

This varies from person to person and depends on the selected procedure. Patients may need several days to a few weeks off of work while their foot heals, and up to three months before they return to sports and other rigorous physical activities.

Risks of Waiting for Neuroma Surgery

Because neuromas are not malignant or life-threatening, it’s generally considered safe to delay surgery to try less invasive treatments.  

On the other hand, ignoring the condition and not doing anything to treat it allows the neuroma to grow worse. If you’re experiencing foot pain that doesn’t respond to icing and over-the-counter pain relievers within a few days, call the foot pain experts at Massapequa Podiatry Associates right away and schedule an appointment.