There’s a name for that nagging foot pain – neuroma

Mon, Apr 18, 2016

KAUKAUNA – That pain, the one that flares up like a lit matchstick between your toes and worsens as you walk, might be caused by something you’ve probably never heard of, a neuroma.


Brandon M. Scharer, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, practicing at Aurora Health Center in Kaukauna, says there’s hope for those suffering from this painful and increasingly common foot ailment.


“If you’ve experienced a neuroma, you know by now this foot irritation, much like plantar fasciitis, is painful enough to almost make you want to stay off your feet entirely,” Scharer said. “But we can help. There are simple tips and treatments available to ease the pain and get you back to the pain-free, active lifestyle you deserve.”


A neuroma develops when there’s a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of the foot. This benign growth of nerve tissue, the result of compression or trauma, often results in pain, burning, swelling between the toes, and numbness or tingling between the toes. Patients often say it feels like a marble stuck inside the ball of their foot.


Neuromas mostly affect women.


Sufferers typically experience pain when walking. They gain a measure of relief by stopping their walk, changing to shoes that are less constricting, or removing their shoe altogether and massaging the affected area. High-heeled, tight, or narrow shoes can make pain worse.


“There are a number of factors widely thought to foster the formation of a neuroma,” Scharer said. “They include possessing a high-arched foot or a flat foot, injury to the foot that causes nerve damage and swelling, improper footwear resulting in the toes being pressed together, and repeated stress to the foot.”


To protect against a neuroma, Scharer recommends:

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes with plenty of room for the toes to move
  • Reducing activities such as jogging, running and dancing that may irritate the toes
  • Using over-the-counter shoe pads or custom shoe inserts
  • Padding and taping at the ball of the foot

 If none of the above offers any relief, contact a foot and ankle specialist for assistance. He or she can suggest the proper medication, orthotics or, in some instances, surgical options to get you back on your feet.


For more information, or to make an appointment, call (877) 884-8796 to see Dr. Scharer at Aurora Health Center in Kaukauna, 2700 Crooks Ave.




About BayCare Clinic

BayCare Clinic ( is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is comprised of over 100 specialty physicians with expertise in more than 20 specialties. BayCare Clinic physicians have served patients in Green Bay and the surrounding region for over 30 years.


Innovation happens all the time at BayCare Clinic. Keep up on our breakthroughs and meet our specialists by subscribing to our newsroom feed. We’ll also keep you updated on health topics in the news. Watch our providers share their expertise on a wide range of topics.


Enter your e-mail address:

Check your email for a subscription confirmation!