Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the result of the tibial nerve getting squeezed or compressed in the tarsal tunnel, which is a narrow pathway in the ankle that serves as an opening for nerves, veins, arteries and tendons to pass through. This nerve can be compressed from an injury, a cyst, or due to overpronation. Other issues, such as diabetes or arthritis, can also cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Common signs of tarsal tunnel syndrome include a burning pain that radiates throughout the foot, a pins and needles sensation at the sole of the foot, and tenderness on the inside of the foot. Patients who believe that they have tarsal tunnel syndrome should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Common treatment options include cold therapy, medication, rehabilitation exercises, and in severe cases, surgery.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.
Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.
The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.
A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.