Six Months Post-Op: Bi-lateral Morton's Neuroma

For all of my Morton's Neuroma readers, I just wanted to share a recovery update on my very successful neuroma surgery. Thursday, September 6, will mark six months since both of my feet went under the knife to remove Morton's Neuromas. And I'm doing great!

My only issues now are some minor soreness and slight swelling when I'm on my feet more than usual. But the nerve pain I suffered with for years is completely gone. And I sure don't miss the cracking sensation and nerve pains that once radiated into my third and fourth toes on a regular basis!

I don't feel like I have a pebble in my foot as I've heard some describe after this surgery. But occasionally, when I've been on my feet a lot, I still feel something more like a pea in that spot where the nerve was probably severed. It's not painful. And most of the time I don't feel it at all. But now and then (usually when I'm barefoot and my feet are tired), I feel that sensation. I'm pretty sure it's normal. And it will probably go away eventually. But even if it never does, it's a whole lot better than the pain I had from the neuroma.

My desire to wear high heels is practically zero these days. I've gotten used to wearing comfortable cute shoes. And because of the damage I inflicted on my feet wearing high platform heels too much in my younger years, I cringe when I see those shoes now. But I do still own a few pair of heels (for special occasions) and this morning I tried a pair on and walked around in them. The last time I tried them, it was obvious my feet were still swollen because they were too tight. This morning they felt a lot more comfortable, maybe just a tiny bit snugger than before the surgery. I am excited that I will be able to wear my stylish boots this winter with a medium size heel. Last winter I couldn't wear them because of the neuroma pain. I had to wear completely flat boots with orthotics.

I had to gravitate toward riding my recumbent bike because the neuroma pain made walking on the treadmill or using an elliptical too painful. But I can now walk for an hour on the treadmill without pain. I've done Zumba without pain. And when we were recently in Philadelphia, we walked for miles and I never had pain in my feet. I am at the point in my recovery now that I am not thinking about my feet during normal activities.

The scars are my reminders of the surgery. And the scars are fading nicely.


Unknown said…
Shari: Just a shout-out to say thanks for the blog about your surgery. I found it comforting and inspirational. After having the shots (cortisone and alcohol), orthotics, reflexology, accupuncture, and radio-frequency ablation, I had the surgery a few days ago, so I'm foot-up, medicated, and remaining patient and optimistic about recovering and getting my life back.

Shari said…
Nice to hear from you, Fred! I am so glad I just went ahead with the surgery and I'm expecting you will too! Be patient! The recovery is gradual but steady!
Unknown said…
Shari - Thank you so much for your follow-up post! I'm having surgery tomorrow and was getting a bit worried that I didn't see anyone posting positive things. I also appreciated the photo of the surgery scars. Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I'm excited to walk/hike with my husband again and get back to the gym!
Lori said…
Hi Shari,
I've just discovered I too have issues with both feet. Could you post an update about how you're doing this far along?
Shari said…
Hi Lori,

It will be fourteen months post-surgery for me on May 6. And I am doing great. I have no limitations whatsoever and I rarely have any swelling at this point. My scars have faded into fine white lines. I can see them, but sometimes when I point the scars out to someone else, they have a hard time seeing them. I have no pain, no soreness, no scar tissue sensation. But I still occasionally have some electrical impulse sensations when I touch certain spots on the bottom of my feet. I think it's just a cut nerve thing that is like "residue" from having had the surgery. And there are certain spots that have less feeling than the unaffected areas of my feet, but it's not complete numbness like I was expectting. I don't have any deisre to wear heels except on very special (and rare) occasions. But I have been able to wear them when I've wanted to. And I'm not in pain. I just don't want to wear them often because I don't want to do any new damage. I really want to protect my feet from anything that might cause future problems. I do zumba. I walk and ride a bike. I can stand for long periods of time in the kitchen. And my knees will feel it more than my feet these days. I am very glad I had the surgery and I've never regretted doing both feet at the same time. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd do different is to have the surgery sooner and not put it off for so long.
Cara said…
Hi Shari,
I have found your blog wonderfully helpful and informative. Since it has been almost 3 years since the above post, would you mind giving an even longer long-term update with regards to how your feet are doing? I am looking at surgery for bilateral neuromas as well, but my main concern is how the feet do long term. Have you had any recurrences of pain or other issues? I guess I am most nervous about truly being able to get back to my active lifestyle (walking, jogging, yoga, etc.) without doing more damage. It is very hard to find information from patients this far down the road. Hopefully that means because they are doing so well! Thanks again for all of your advice!
Shari said…
Hello Cara,

I would be happy to update you on my longterm status. My surgery was March 2012. It's been nearly four years now and I'm still happy with my results. I am not limited in my activity, with one exception. I just can't do heels if I'm going to be on my feet a lot without paying the consequences. BUT I know a lot of women my age (56) who say the same thing and have never had foot surgery. And I don't choose to wear high heels because even if the balls of my feet weren't sensitive, I wouldn't want to take the chance I'd cause a new neuroma to form. I don't wear totally flat shoes either. But I buy for comfort. Fortunately, the choices are much better than they used to be. I have found Crocs sandals to be the most comfortable thing I can wear in warm weather. And they make very cute sandals now. I also buy really good, leather boots for winter on Zappos. I've found Picolino's to be so comfortable and yet very stylish at the same time. I have one pair with a little more heel for certain occasions. But if I'm going to be on my feet a lot, I wear the lower ones.

I work out regularly. I can use a treadmill or elliptical comfortably. I have never been a runner. As long as I'm not abusing my feet with the wrong shoes, I can walk and shop and be on my feet a lot. If I really over do it on my feet (long periods of standing), they will get sore and I'll need to get off my feet. But I have never had a recurrence of the kind of pain I had from the damaged nerves. And I have not developed any new neuromas.

I think the balls of my feet will always be prone to getting sore when I spend too much time on my feet. I've been told that as you age, you lose more and more of the fatty pads there and it happens even when you haven't had a neuroma. But I think that since I developed neuromas in both feet, I may just have a predisposition genetically toward this part of my foot being a problem. I've also had frozen shoulder in both shoulders (ten years apart). Neither time did I injure my shoulder in any obvious way. So I've thought that I must have a genetic weakness of predisposition to that condition. I know I damaged my feet by wearing ultra high heels and platforms; shoes that abused my feet for many years. I'm not about to make that mistake again.

I am happy with the outcome of my surgery and if I developed a neuroma again, I'd go right back to the same surgeon and have it removed. If I had neuromas in both feet, I would absolutely elect to do bilateral surgery at once rather than going through all the healing one foot at a time. Yes, it's a lot more hassle and awkward early on. But I would rather get it all behind me sooner. If I'm going to sit around with one foot up and take pain pills, might as well kill two birds with one stone and do the same with both feet up. I just wanted to get on with my life as soon as possible. This is a good time of year to be scheduling surgery because it will soon be sandal weather. I cannot recommend Crocs sandals highly enough. They're cute and they are like walking on gel pads from heel to toe.

I'm so glad you've found my blog posts helpful and informative. :)
Cara said…
Thank you so much for your update! It is very helpful, especially the advice about shoe wear. And it is encouraging to read you work out regularly! You have helped alleviate some of the anxiety I have about this surgery. I do want to get on with my life, as I have been battling this for about a year. Not as long as some, but it sure seems like it!
Thanks again!