Morton’s Foot vs Morton’s Neuroma
Two conditions originating in the feet, but very different. Also, they were named after different doctors, yes, with the same last name. Both born in the 1800’s. Morton’s foot was named after an American orthopedic surgeon Dudley Joy Morton (1884-1960) while Morton’s Neuroma was named after US surgeon Thomas George Morton (1835-1903).
This article explains Morton’s Foot and how to detect it.
What is Morton’s Foot?
The condition where a major supporting bone in the foot is shorter than it should be. There is a tripod structure in feet that provides even balance. The tripod consists of the top of a bone that lines up with the big toe, the top of a bone that lines up with the little toe, and the heel. In the picture, these bones are yellow. They are called the metatarsals. The foot skeleton labeled with a number 1 has Morton’s Foot and the tripod is anchored off balance by shifting the support to the metatarsal head below the second toe. The number 2 skeleton has a balanced tripod. Morton’s Foot is a condition that one out of every four people are born with.
Detecting Morton’s Foot
Morton’s Foot is easy to detect. First, support the ball of your foot with your hand or another object the size of your fist that you can use to press the ball of your foot up and against your metatarsal heads (tops of the metatarsal bones). Second, curl your toes down. The metatarsal heals will show like your knuckles do when you make a fist.
Now, look at the bones and see if they are in line with each other or if the metatarsal bone below the big toe is short. If it is, you have Morton’s Foot.
Correcting Morton’s Foot
Morton’s Foot is easy to correct. The way to correct it is by slightly lifting the head of the short metatarsal bone underneath the big toe. One DIY method is to purchase Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Padding and cut out a quarter to a half dollar (depending on the size of the head of the metarsal) size piece of moleskin. Purchase Dr. Scholl’s Work Insoles or something similar and attach the moleskin to the underside of the insert right where the metatarsal head presses down. Be careful to not overlap the metatarsal head next to it. Don’t forget to use inserts with your sandals (Target has some inserts that are clear) and slippers, too.