A Joplins Neuroma or neuritis is an entrapment or impingement of the medial plantar digital nerve which supplies the medial aspect of the big toe that was first described by Joplin in 1971 in three cases following bunion surgery.
A Joplin’s neuroma is typically caused by chronic and repetitive pressure from footwear pushing on the medial side of the first MPJ and hallux. Occasionally it is caused by a single traumatic incident and can follow bunion surgery.
Typically there are paresthesias and pain on the medial side of the hallux, sometime radiating. A ‘cord’ can sometimes be palpated and reproduce the symptoms.
The treatment of a Joplins neuroma is usually the use of better fitting footwear and padding to relieve pressure on the irritated nerve. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove the neuroma.