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Surgical treatment of Morton's neuroma: clinical results after open excision

Maximilian Kasparek, Wolfgang Schneider
International Orthopaedics 2013, 37 (9): 1857-61

PURPOSE: Long-term results following surgical treatment of Morton neuroma are rare. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate patients after excision of Morton's neuroma at least ten years following surgery.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of the patients' records who underwent excision of an interdigital neuroma with the clinical diagnosis of Morton's neuroma. Eighty-one patients who had undergone surgery on 98 feet were analysed at an average of 15.3 years postoperatively. In total 111 neuromas were excised, because in 13 feet more than one neuroma was identified clinically. Follow-up evaluation included physical examination and a radiographic evaluation. The interdigital neuroma clinical evaluation score and the AOFAS score were assessed.

RESULTS: An excellent result was reported for 44 feet (44.9 %), a good result for 31 feet (31.6 %) and a fair one for 15 feet (15,3 %). Eight feet had a poor result (8.2 %), in all of them an amputation neuroma was diagnosed. The average neuroma score was 62 points (range 20-80) and the AOFAS score 75 points (range 29-100). Sixty-one feet (62.2 %) had concomitant foot and ankle disorders not related to the primary diagnosis of Morton's neuroma. Numbness was assessed in 72 % (72 feet), a normal sensibility in 26 % (26 feet) and dyaesthesia in 1 % (one foot). The clinical outcome was not influenced by existence of sensory deficits (p = 0.646); analysis of location of neuroma showed best results for those in the third webspace. A significantly worse outcome was found in patients operated on multiple neuromas compared to single neuroma (p = 0.038).

CONCLUSION: Surgical excision of a Morton's neuroma results in good clinical results and high overall patient's satisfaction in the long term. Multiple neuromas have worse outcome than single neuromas. Sensory deficits and concomitant foot and ankles disorders are common, but do not have an influence on patient's satisfaction.

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