Sclerosing alcohol injections for the management of intermetatarsal neuromas: a systematic review
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Santos, D., Morrison, G. & Coda, A. (2017) Sclerosing alcohol injections for the management of intermetatarsal neuromas: a systematic review, The Foot, 23, pp. 36-47.
An intermetatarsal neuroma is a plantar digital neuritis causing metatarsalgia of the affected inter-metatarsal space. At present the evidence to support the management of the condition is poor with only some quality evidence supporting the short-term management of intermetatarsal neuromas using steroid injections. Some authors have supported the use of alcohol sclerosing intra-lesional injections to treat intermetatarsal neuromas. Following a search of the evidence 11 articles were identified. The systematic review found that alcohol injections appear to be safe although some papers report a short-term side effect of a flogistic reaction and there are variances in the alcohol concentration used and guiding verses not guiding the injection using ultrasound imaging. Some of the evidence may suggest a sclerosing histological effect of the nerve. However, all the studies reviewed present a research design offering a low level of evidence that is open to methodological biases and interpretation. Thus, this review found insufficient high-quality research evidence to afford conclusions on the management of intermetatarsal neuromas with alcohol sclerosing agent injections.