Can Morton’s neuromas grow back after surgery?

The answer to the question, can neuromas grow back after surgery, is unequivocally YES…

Unfortunately, either surgeons do not know this fact about surgery for Morton’s neuroma or they just don’t want to admit it. Fact is that most surgeons convey the idea to their patients that surgery is a definitive procedure, and that return, regrowth, or formation of new neuromas is unlikely following surgical excision.

In defense of your local physician, they may not actually know how common “stump” neuromas and the production of new or multiple neuromas actually are. Generally, after a couple of months when it becomes apparent that the surgical procedure has failed to resolve the neuroma pain, the patient is reluctant to go back to the treating physician. They would rather go find another physician and avoid conflict with the surgeon they respected and trusted. Unfortunately, this practice conceals the frequency of complications following surgical extraction procedures.

After treating more than 14,000 neuroma patients, many of whom have experienced multiple surgeries in an attempt to relieve their pain, I’ve noticed an apparent trend in my research that re-growth, stump neuromas, and new neuromas in the adjacent interspace or other foot are more common than not.

Unfortunately, surgical extraction, even when performed correctly, fails to resolve the underlying cause of the neuroma. The constant damage to the nerves, unresolved by surgery and generated with every step you take, will inevitably create a similar condition in another area. Often the remaining portion of the nerve, now surrounded by scar tissue is subjected to the same forces that caused the original neuroma. The result is what is referred to as a stump neuroma. This condition is generally far more symptomatic than the original neuroma.

Additionally, and even more common than a stump neuroma, is the production of another neuroma in an adjacent interspace or the other foot. Many patient’s report symptoms of another neuroma on their first post-operative visit. The swelling, tight bandages, and stress placed on the non-surgical foot frequently causes neuroma symptoms in other areas before

Neuromas can grow back after surgery

The long-distance mountain runner pictured above reports a history of 5 neuromas and 3 failed neuroma surgeries.

Until the underlying cause of the neuromas is resolved, new neuromas and stump neuromas are very likely. Even patient’s who get a good result following surgery, that lasts for months or years, will ultimately grow more neuromas, or get a recurrence of the original neuroma.

Successful resolutions of neuroma pain long term necessitate resolution of the underlying cause of Morton’s neuroma. This means that in order to resume normal activities without nerve pain, the forces generated by poor foot function must be resolved.

Brent A Jarrett DPM

August 14, 2018 7:00 am