The tarsal tunnel is a narrow tunnel in the ankle, next to the ankle bone, that serves as a pathway for nerves, veins, arteries and tendons. Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve in this tunnel gets squeezed or pressed. Common causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, overpronation (rolling) of the foot, or a cyst or ganglion that can form near the tunnel. Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include a burning pain that radiates to the arch of the foot, numbness in the sole of the foot and worsening of symptoms after running or standing for a long time. If you believe that you might be suffering from tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is important to visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options that may be considered include cold therapy, medication, injections, specific exercises, corticosteroid injections or surgery.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor 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 our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome