Ultrasound guided steroid injection in the treatment of interdigital neuralgia

Published online: Apr 27 2007

Hazem Hassouna, Dishan Singh, Heath Taylor, Steve Johnson

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, United Kingdom


The aim of this study was to assess the clinical effectiveness of ultrasound guided injection in the management of Morton's Metatarsalgia. Patients clinically diagnosed with interdigital Morton's neuroma were treated with ultrasound guided injection of local anaesthetic and steroid. Fifty four patients were available for follow-up, and all had detailed telephone questionnaires completed. These questionnaires included a pre and post injection symptom score, and Johnson Satisfaction score. The results indicate that 69% of patients had ultrasound diagnosis of Morton's neuroma and 31% had an ultrasound diagnosis of intermetatarsal bursa. Mean follow-up was 11.4 months. Sixty seven percent of the patients were satisfied with the results of treatment. At follow-up 63% of patients had no limitation in activity levels, and had no need to modify shoe wear. Of all patients included in the study, only three have gone on to require surgery for ongoing symptoms. Although some studies have suggested that neither injection nor imaging have a role in the treatment of Morton's neuroma, this study, however, demonstrates that ultrasound guided placement of local anaesthetic and steroid in either an intermetatarsal bursa or Morton's neuroma gives a good short and medium term symptom relief and in the majority of cases avoids or at least delays the need for surgery.