This January, a 53-year-old male patient visited my office after living with pain and discomfort following the surgical removal of a Morton’s Neuroma from his left foot 12 months earlier. A Morton’s Neuroma is an injury to the nerve that gives sensation to two adjacent toes, typically the 3rd and 4th toes. When the nerve between the toes becomes aggravated and compressed, it causes severe pain at the base of the toes and the ball of the foot, sometimes causing pins and needles in the toes. The post-surgical pain was affecting all aspects of his life, including his job performance as he was required to stand for long periods at work. Although the patient had been seeking a solution to his pain and discomfort for many months, he had delayed getting treatment simply because he did not know where to turn. Fortunately he saw my clinic sign one day and decided to make an appointment.
After conducting a thorough assessment of his gait and lower limbs and taking a detailed history, I recommended fitting him with custom foot orthotics, which I made for him at my clinic. The orthotics were designed to control the motion of his foot, while reducing the pressure around the neuroma by opening the space between the metatarsals (bones in front part of his foot). Additionally, I recommended stretching exercises for his hamstrings, calf muscles and toe extensions, and appropriate footwear that offered a wide, deep toe box and a rocker shaped sole to minimize pressure on his forefoot.
This simple treatment regime had a transforming effect. The patient adjusted very quickly to his orthotics and within a short time he was virtually pain free when wearing footwear and he only experienced minimal discomfort when walking barefoot. He is now easily able to withstand all the demands of his job, including the long hours of standing it requires.
As an orthotic and foot care expert, every day I see the positive impact orthotics can have on someone’s comfort and mobility. If you are experiencing lower limb pain don’t delay. Visit a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near your home. It may save you avoidable discomfort.
By Brad Gibbs, C. Ped (C), Cambridge, ON