Podiatrists at Wilford Hall Medical Center are now offering a non-surgical procedure, chemical neurolysis, to treat painful foot neuromas.
A foot neuroma is a common condition, believed to be caused by nerve irritation, injury or abnormal foot mechanics. Neuroma symptoms often range from numbness, tingling, sharp pain, feeling of walking on a pebble or rock, popping or clicking sensation between the toes and muscle cramping in the foot or toes.
The standard treatment for a neuroma is relatively limited and includes conservative care options such as massage, tape strapping of the foot, functional foot orthotics, changes in shoe type or style, decreased physical activities and one or more cortisone injections into the involved area.
When these conservative measures fail to relieve the patient's symptoms, surgical treatment is often recommended. Complications may include painful or unsightly scar formation, deep painful tissue adhesions, postoperative infection and chronic swelling.
"We want to exhaust all possible conservative treatment options prior to considering invasive treatments," said Capt. (Dr.) Christopher Taylor, chief of Podiatric Medicine Clinic at Wilford Hall. "Providing chemical neurolysis has improved our patient outcomes and represents a significant recurrent annual cost savings."
Chemical neurolysis, using a dilute solution of ethyl alcohol, offers a non-surgical alternative for treating a foot neuroma. The procedure, also known as alcohol sclerosing, involves a series of three to seven injections given on a weekly basis. It involves no surgery and up to an 89 percent success rate.