There are a number of foot conditions that can lead to different sensations in the foot. For some people, these conditions lead to a numbing or tingling sensation, while for others they feel a painless, albeit annoying, phantom sensation on or between their toes. So what conditions could be causing these symptoms, and how are they best treated? We explain in today’s blog.
Causes of Phantom Toe Sensations
There are a number of specific conditions that can lead to phantom sensations in your toes or feet, but the underlying cause is usually the same – a nerve issue. When a nerve becomes compressed or damaged, your brain has a difficult time interpreting signals from that nerve. This can lead to a pain sensation, or in some cases, numbness, tingling or phantom sensations in the affected area. Some of the more common conditions that can lead to phantom toe sensations include:
Peroneal Nerve Compression
Nerve Degeneration from Diabetes
All of these conditions are different, but they all share a common theme in that they involve damage, degeneration or compression of the nerve or nerve coverings. And while every patient will be managed on a case by case basis, oftentimes treatment is similar.
Treating Phantom Toe Sensations
In order to successfully treat the phantom nerve pain, we first must understand what’s causing it. If you’re experiencing phantom toe pain, set up an appointment with Dr. Silverman’s office. During your visit, he’ll ask about your symptoms, when they first started, and he’ll conduct a physical exam of your feet. From there, he’ll likely order imaging testing, either with an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or ultrasound in order to pinpoint the issue. Once he’s isolated the problematic nerve, treatment can begin.
Treatment typically involves preventing further nerve damage or working to free a compressed or inflamed nerve. For individuals suffering from an inflamed nerve from Morton’s Neuroma, footwear adjustments, anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroid injections can work wonders. For patients with peroneal nerve compression, stretching exercises and targeted physical therapy can help provide relief, and if those options fail, a minimally invasive surgery can help to free the nerve. In individuals with nerve damage due to peripheral nephropathy or as a result of unmanaged diabetes, the focus will be on preventing further damage as well as potentially removing nerves that are sending disruptive signals.
All of the treatment for inflamed and compressed nerves have high rates of success, and then for damaged nerves, treatment success depends on the extent of the damage. This is why prevention is always preferred to treatment, and why you should see a doctor at the first signs of an issue.
If you’re dealing with phantom sensations or numbness in your foot or toes, set up an appointment with Dr. Silverman and let us get to the bottom of the issue today. Call us at (952) 224-8500