Case Study - Morton’s Neuroma
Wednesday 31 January 2018

Julie Monro was a patient at North Downs and here is her story:

"I have taken part in some form of exercise for years whether classes at the gym or Pilates but then was challenged by my very competitive husband to run a marathon.

So we trained together for a year following a strict training plan and I ran my firstmarathon in 2003 in London and to my delight I finished 20 minutes ahead of my husband! I guess being competitive is contagious!!

I continued to enjoy my hobby until 2014 when I ran the Reigate half marathon. It was then that a niggling pain I had ignored in my foot became unbearable for the first time. I felt I might not be able to finish the race. It was crippling and debilitating. The pain started off feeling like I had a stone in my shoe under the ball of my foot.

Indeed, while training, I would often stop and shake my shoe out for nothing to drop out .I visited my GP and was referred East Surrey hospital and given injections into the foot to help ease the pain. There was no let-up in the pain which was getting worse and worse and making my life a misery.

Being a hairdresser meant I was on my feet all day and, at times, the pain was so bad I just had to sit down during appointments and take extra time off in between clients. It was only as I was cutting a client’s hair she mentioned she worked at North Downs Hospital. I spoke to her about my condition and she suggested I went to see Mr Baldwin, one of the podiatrists at North Downs.

I had my initial consultation with him in September 2016. He listened to my explanation of the pain and immediately diagnosed Morton’s Neuroma. Morton's neuroma is a condition that affects the nerves between the toes. The nerve had thickened so much it was causing the excruciating pain I was feeling.

I had my scan the following month and was booked in for surgery in the January. It was my choice to hold off the surgery until after Christmas and New Year as it is my busiest time of year and I wanted to be there for my clients.

I turned up at North Downs Hospital nervous and anxious about the procedure despite Mr Baldwin’s calmness whilst he talked me through the procedure. I was booked in for day surgery and underwent a general anaesthetic. After surgery I was assessed and discharged.

My after care was four days of bed rest and then I was advised to gradually increase the time I spent on the foot. I was actively encouraged to use the foot and I built up the time I spent on it from 5 minutes to 60 minutes over the course of a couple of weeks. I was back at work three weeks after surgery but I did have to have breaks and sit down in between clients. I was back to my normal lifestyle and activities within eight weeks but I wasn’t running as I had a pain in my other foot.

It was only a slight sensation and did not cause alarm. I was so over the moon with how my foot had healed and how the pain had disappeared. I really couldn’t believe the difference – it was incredible.

As the pain in my other foot grew I went back to see Mr Baldwin and he scanned the othe rfoot. I had the same issue with my other foot which is quiet rare. I underwent the same procedure again but I was less nervous and the recovery time was quicker and I was back to work just over two weeks later and a full recovery after seven weeks.I cannot thank Mr Baldwin and the nursing staff at North Downs. They were amazing.

I started running again back in November last year, 3 months after the second operation.In July this year I found out I had got a place in the London Marathon to run for the Firefighters charity as my husband has been a London Firefighter for 30 years. The feeling of excitement at getting the place was overwhelming and I feel that element of having a goal to work towards to.

I honestly feel like I have never had anything wrong with me and, looking at my feet, you would never know that I have had both feet operated on! From the fear of thinking that I would never be able to run again and may even have to consider a career change to being to beingpain free and running again is amazing and I am even back in heels which had been off limits for years!"

Julie is running the London Marathon in April this year.  If you would like to help Julie Munro raise money for this great cause you can donate directly to her fundraising page -

JustGiving sends your donation straight to The Fire Fighters Charity and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Thank you for your support!

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