Excision With Interpositional Nerve Grafting: An Alternative Technique for the Treatment of Morton Neuroma

Imran Ratanshi, Thomas E J Hayakawa, Jennifer L Giuffre
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2016, 76 (4): 428-33

INTRODUCTION: "Morton neuroma" is a common cause of forefoot pain with numbness frequently occurring in the distribution of the third common digital nerve. After the failure of nonoperative measures, decompression with excision of the neuroma is common practice. Residual numbness and recurrent pain has been reported as a consequence of this treatment option. This study describes excision of the neuroma with interpositional nerve grafting as a treatment option for Morton neuroma. This proposed technique has the benefit of reducing pain, reducing recurrent secondary neuromas and restoring postexcision sensory deficits.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients who underwent elective primary excision of a Morton neuroma with interpositional nerve grafting was undertaken. Patient demographics, surgical technique, and clinical outcomes, such as pain, neuroma recurrence, 2-point discrimination, numbness, and weight-bearing status at minimum of 1 year postoperation, are reported.

RESULTS: Eight patients (9 neuromas) underwent excision of the Morton neuroma with interpositional nerve grafting after failing nonoperative measures. At final follow-up, all patients had improvement of pain and there were no neuroma recurrences. Sensation to the grafted hemi-toe returned in all but 1 case. All patients returned to full weight-bearing status. Although no major complications were reported, wound dehiscence secondary to a hematoma occurred in 1 case.

CONCLUSIONS: Excision and interpositional nerve grafting is an effective treatment for Morton neuroma as it alleviates pain, numbness and restores sensation with minimal morbidity and complications.

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