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Efficacy of Chemical Neurolysis for the Treatment of Interdigital Nerve Compression of the Foot

A Retrospective Study

John D. Mozena Private practice, Portland, OR.

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Jared T. Clifford Private practice, Portland, OR.

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Background: Dilute alcohol injection has been described as a nonsurgical treatment option for interdigital nerve compression of the foot, also known as “Morton’s neuroma.” This study reviews the efficacy of the procedure in 49 feet at one treatment center.

Methods: In this historical cohort study, data from 42 patients who had undergone alcohol injection therapy were obtained from clinic records. A total of 49 feet were reviewed.

Results: Symptoms were improved or resolved in 30 (61%) of 49 feet. Nineteen feet (39%) were unimproved, with 12 of those progressing to surgical neurectomy. Feet that received five or more injections were more likely to improve (74%) than those that received fewer than five injections (39%). Three patients reported mild complications associated with dilute alcohol injection, all of which resolved spontaneously within 2 days of the injection.

Conclusions: Dilute alcohol injection is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with Morton’s neuroma who want to avoid a surgical procedure and any associated complications. The procedure may be more successful if the patient receives at least five injections. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(3): 203–206, 2007)

Corresponding author: John D. Mozena, DPM, Town Center Foot Clinic, 8305 SE Monterey Ave, #101, Portland, OR 97266.