To perform excision of a neuroma, your podiatric surgeon will make a small incision over the base of the third and fourth toes. The enlarged nerve tissue is then carefully removed. The procedure is typically performed in the hospital.
What to expect with your surgery
The day of the surgery
Your podiatric surgeon will visit with you and answer any additional questions you may have prior to your surgery. You will also meet with the anesthesiologist to discuss what type of anesthesia you will have for the surgery. A nurse will typically start an IV, so the anesthesiologist can administer any necessary medication during the procedure. If this is the only procedure being done on your foot, the surgery takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Your doctor will numb your foot before and/or after the surgery and will give you a prescription for a pain-relieving medication. You will also be given detailed instructions on how to care for your foot.
Most of the pain and inflammation from the surgery will be during week 1. It is very important to wear your surgical shoe at all times and to elevate and rest your foot as much as possible. You should leave the bandage on your foot and you should not get your foot wet. When you return to the office for your first appointment, your doctor will change the dressing. Sutures are not typically taken out at this point. Your doctor may decide to let you wear a lace-up shoe at this point, but you may have to continue to wear your surgical shoe until your 2 week follow-up appointment.
There is usually less pain and inflammation during this week. Depending on your doctor’s preference, you may be able to get your foot wet at this point. Activity may generally be increased slightly depending on how much inflammation is present. At the second week appointment, your doctor will usually take out your sutures.
You should be able to wear a lace-up shoe at this point. Activity can usually be increased slightly to tolerance. Most patients will still have a “bruised” feeling on the bottom of the foot under where the neuroma was removed, but this gradually will improve.
The surgical area continues to heal during this time. You should continue to see a gradual decrease in pain.
Week 8 and longer
Most of the surgical area healing should be done at this point. Some patients may have swelling and/or pain that may persist longer, but this is unusual. Activity should be increased as tolerated.