The term neuroma refers to any tumor made of nerve tissue. It is also a general term used to describe any swelling of a nerve. A neuroma can be located anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant. Some common types of neuroma include neurinoma, acoustic neuroma and Morton’s neuroma. Neurinoma is a slow growing neuroma found in the myelin sheath of the peripheral nervous system.
Acoustic neuroma is found in the skull and affects hearing. Morton’s neuroma is found in the foot. Another common term associated with neuroma is “traumatic neuroma”. This refers to nerve damage as a result of injury such as can occur during surgery. This is often found near a scar on the body and can be painful. Neuroma is also sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve.
Neuroma Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of a neuroma vary based on where in the body the neuroma is located and whether or not it is affecting other nerves, tissue or organs. General symptoms may include pain, tingling, numbness, and a burning sensation. In the case of acoustic neuroma a person’s hearing is affected.
Neuroma is first diagnosed through a physical exam. In some cases it may take an x-ray, ultrasound or MRI to confirm this diagnosis.
Treatments for neuroma depend on the type, severity and location of the neuroma. Treatments can include cryogenic neuroablation, which uses very cold temperatures to interrupt the transmission of pain signals. Unfortunately the effects of this treatment do not last. Another treatment is decompression surgery. In this surgery surrounding tissue that is being compressed and causing the patient issues is removed. Alternatively, the neuroma itself can sometimes be surgically removed. Other treatments to manage neuroma include pain medications and physical therapy.
Prognosis for neuroma varies greatly depending on the type, location and severity. With early diagnosis and proper treatment prognosis can be very positive and people can live a long and healthy life.