Sometime before September of 2014, I began having excruciating pain in the lower of area of my 2nd toe. The pain was so excruciating, it would literally stop me in my tracks. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t stand, couldn’t wear closed toes shoes. Once the ‘spasms’ of pain started, nothing helped. I tried everything I knew. I had no idea what it was. I knew I hadn’t injured it in any way. Fast forward a year. While still having these painful episodes, I noticed that my second toe and part of my third toe were going numb. I actually stubbed my toe, tore the nail and was bleeding and didn’t realize the seriousness of the injury until I looked down. I went to my PCP who believed I was suffering from a Morton’s Neuroma, and referred me to Dr. Bocian.
I met with Dr. Bocian on 2 separate occasions. He confirmed the diagnosis of a Morton’s Neuroma and we discussed options of surgery, injections or Laser Therapy at the first appointment. Since my insurance wouldn’t pay for the laser therapy, I opted for the injections. Over the course of several months, I received 2 separate cortisone injections. Relief was minimal and short lasting, maybe a day or two of no pain, no spasms. Then the pain, stabbing, aching and debilitating pain came back with a vengeance. I had no quality of life. I knew I couldn’t go anywhere, do anything without fear of pain. I couldn’t wear closed toed shoes, including tennis shoes so walking or exercising became non-existent. I became frustrated and gave up. That all changed in May of 2016.
I was carrying my 4 week old granddaughter from one tiled room to another, when the pain hit so hard and so fast, that I almost fell carrying her. I was done! I could have fallen on her, injured or killed her. I called Dr. Bocian’s office the next Monday and demanded surgery. I am too young to be this feeble and my grandchildren didn’t deserve a lame grandmother who was house bound because of the fear of the pain or hurting them. Dr. Bocian’s office scheduled me for surgery on June 28th, with a pre-op appointment the week before. At the pre-op appointment, I didn’t hold anything back. I was DONE!! I wanted the pain to go away. I wanted to be normal. Dr. Bocian explained that he would do the surgery and continued to offer Laser, and explained the risks of a stump neuroma. I came to an agreement with Dr. Bocian that I would try the Laser, but that if it didn’t work, I was going to have the surgery at his expense.
I began the 10 week laser treatment on July 5th, 2016. While the procedure was a little on the painful side, I stuck with it. The first couple of treatments, I had after treatment pain, similar to having stepped on a nail. But that subsided within minutes. My foot was a little sore to walk on, but not debilitating. I was actually able to stand on the ball of my foot without pain. There was still some clicking, but no spasms of pain. On the 3rd day after the 1st treatment, I was able to wear a partially closed toe shoe with no severe pain. I had some minor discomfort in the ball of my foot and 2nd toe. By the 3rd and 4th treatments, I was seeing at least a 50 percent improvement in my pain level. I was only having severe pain once in a while, but nothing that was taking me to my knees like before. I was also beginning to have some feeling return to the once numb 3rd toe. As time progressed, the nerve in the tip of my 2nd toe began to rejuvenate, as I was having pain specifically in the tip of that toe. After the 5th treatment, I was no longer having ANY debilitating pain, nothing but soreness in the ball of my foot that was attributed to the laser treatment and me actually using my foot. The clicking had all but gone away. At the completion of the 10th treatment, I was having no clicking, no stabbing pain and no issues wearing closed toe shoes.
It has been almost 2 months since my final treatment. I waited to write this narrative because I wanted to make sure that this pain free existence was going to last. I even went to Hawaii for a week at the end of October, walking swap meets and beaches in all types of shoes, for hours on end and NO PAIN!!! NOTHING!!! NADA!!! I have not had a day where I have been afraid to walk, go to the store, or carry my grandchildren. I can stand on my tippy-toes with no pain. My quality of life has increased 100% and I couldn’t be happier that I chose to have the Laser Treatment.
I would highly recommend this treatment to anyone with a Morton’s Neuroma. The benefits way outweigh the risk of surgery, pain of surgery, surgical downtime and the risk of a stump neuroma.