Can Wearing High Heels Shoes cause Morton's Neuroma Surgery?
If you want a distinct answer to the question of whether wearing high heeled shoes causes Morton's Neuroma, the answer is a definite maybe. Most foot doctors would recommend wearing better shoes for beneficial care of the feet.
I have had personal experiences with Mr. Morton on two occasions going back to the 1970s and let me tell you it was not pleasant.
Back in those days I spent much time on my feet as my profession was that of being an operating room nurse at Methodist Hospital in the heart of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
Normally I worked the day shift which meant being all suited up with those gorgeous (I'm being facetious here!) OR clothes, disposable caps covering our hair and disposable booties covering our shoes. In those days the women wore wrap around type dresses and the men got to wear trousers and shirt tops all in a blue or green color which got very faded as they were laundered over time by the hospital.
Being an OR Nurse
We are not talking great fashion here folks!
But then except for the cases of surgery performed under local anesthetic, most of our patients were already drowsy due to pre-op medications administered before they were wheeled into the operating room theater and of course, during surgery, they were out cold due to the anesthesia.
A typical joke back then if those of us working in the OR saw each other outside of that environment was to say that we really looked good in our clothes. Anyone overhearing that type of remark probably wondered about us and in what type of profession we were engaged!
The day shift was from 7 AM to 3:30 PM and most of us were changing clothes and exchanging a few pleasantries in the nurse's lounge around 6:30 AM prior to getting really busy with the rest of our day.
Of course if we were scheduled to be "on call" and the surgeries ran past the time of 3:30 PM we simply stayed in the OR and finished the job no matter how long it took if the smaller staffed evening shift could not handle the load.
Being an operating room nurse whether one was the scrub nurse or the circulating nurse meant spending long hours on one's feet.
Some footage of an actual surgery...
Mr. Morton paid me a visit and he worked his way into my life in an insidious way over a great period of time. All I realized was that after a day of work my one foot was getting more and more painful.
After getting home I would put my feet up after taking off my shoes and endured the painful burning sensation for some time.
A night's rest seemed to alleviate it but as time progressed I was literally limping in the corridor of the OR suite one day when a surgeon asked me what seemed to be the trouble. He had me hop up onto a stretcher outside of an OR and examined my feet. Presto! Instant diagnosis! Morton's Neuroma.
It did not take long for surgery to be scheduled and when completed, the surgeon told me that he had never previously seen one that was so large.
When one developed in the other foot a few years later believe me I did not wait so long to have it remedied.
What is Morton's Neuroma?
Enlargement and abnormal growth of the nerve typically between the third and fourth toes and just above the pad of the foot can cause all kinds of havoc. As one walks, jogs, runs or otherwise hits the ground with one's foot, the ligament on top of the nerve causes compression. When the nerve is enlarged, obviously one is in for some pain, burning sensations or even numbness.
Numbness would certainly have been preferred in my case over the throbbing pain and burning that I experienced, and since I had waited so long to seek treatment, surgery was the only choice left.
If one seeks treatment earlier other options are typically tried with surgery as a last resort. Alternatives include orthotics, pain medications (usually over the counter), steroids to reduce the swelling and even injections with alcohol which is a newer approach.
The relief was instant in my case after the surgery.
Heed the warning signals and seek help if these symptoms sound familiar. Some people even report the feeling of walking on a marble. I simply had the growing sensation of pain and burning which kept escalating as the neuroma got larger.
Morton's Neuroma Pain in Foot - Surgical Excision
Being a Fashionista can Hurt!
I used to wear many high heels when I was younger and that is one possible cause of developing a Morton's Neuroma.
In fact women outnumber men by a huge number when it comes to developing Morton's Neuromas. Comparing men's shoes with women's shoes it is no wonder! Most men's shoes are built with roomy areas for their toes and sensible heel heights.
Not so with much of what is created for women to wear! Look at the pointy toes and sky-high elevated yet skinny heels that females are encouraged to purchase and then navigate wearing.
Some time ago (after having had two surgeries for Morton's Neuromas) and also being granted a few more years with which to gain some wisdom (that is questionable...but hey!...thought that I would throw it in for laughs especially those that know me) I decided that I no longer had to buy the latest and greatest when it came to women's shoes being sold.
Lower heels and even flats suit me just fine these days!
If one searches it is possible to find shoes with more room for toes to reside in more comfortable surroundings...even wiggle a little. It may not be easy but it is worth the effort in the long run to find such foot friendly adornments.
So does wearing high heeled shoes cause Morton's Neuromas? There seems to be some evidence and I'm not taking any chances. I may be a bit shorter these days without my high heels but my feet are happier!
High heeled shoes
Do you always follow the latest trends when it comes to shoe fashions?
Assessment Technique for Suspected Cases of Morton's Neuroma
Have you ever suffered with a Morton's Neuroma?
© 2009 Peggy Woods