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What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:00

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compressive neuropathy condition that results from the entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve as it passes through the tarsal tunnel, a narrow passageway located on the inner side of the ankle. This entrapment leads to many symptoms, most notably pain, tingling, and burning in the foot and heel, which sometimes extends into the toes and lower leg. Many things can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome, such as injuries to the ankle, swelling from other health problems like diabetes, or just by repeating the same movements that irritate the area. Treatment strategies are tailored to the severity and underlying cause of the syndrome. Conservative measures include anti-inflammatory medications and orthotic devices to alleviate pressure on the nerve. More invasive options include surgical decompression to relieve the nerve entrapment. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms overlap with other nerve-related conditions. Podiatrists, or foot doctors, can do comprehensive evaluations to properly diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome. If you have foot pain, or suspect tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you seek treatment from a podiatrist who can properly diagnose this condition and offer a personalized treatment plan. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Michigan Foot and Ankle. 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.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ferndale, and Milford, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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