A boot fitting client has Morton’s Neuroma. We think probably caused by too many years in pointy toe ski touring boots compressing their metatarsal bones like they’re skiing in a machinist’s vise. Whatever the cause, this is serious. Morton’s can shut down a ski touring career, not to mention placing you in a desk chair the rest of your life.
(Morton’s is a thickening of tissue around a nerve that routes between metatarsal bones in the ball of your foot. It feels like you’ve got a rock in your boot, and it hurts. Problem: if unchecked Morton’s feeds on itself and gets progressively worse. Morton’s Neuroma.
Morton’s treatment general outline, in order of priority:
– Modify footwear (including footpads adhered to feet, boot widening, and footbed mods).
– Anti inflammatory measures (NSAID and ice).
– Physical therapy (stretching and massage).
– Lifestyle adjustments (quit working on concrete floors, or ski less?).
– Injections and other medical provider interventions.
This blog post: how we modify ski boots for the condition.
Experimentation is key with this. Morton’s is pain, so it’s easy to test different fits until something provides relief. While doing so, it’s best for the boot fitting client to go off their NSAID pain killers so their feet are sensitive to footwear customization. This is especially helpful when you palpate under the footbed with their foot on top, to located the exact point you skive under the footbed.
Once the boot and footbed are modified, it’s time to pursue cortisone and perhaps more if the problem continues. Modifying all other footwear is also recommended.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.