Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Understanding Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

On the inside of the ankle lies a narrow passageway created by soft tissue and bone, called the tarsal tunnel. Traveling through the tarsal tunnel are tendons, blood vessels, and nerves—including the tibial nerve. This nerve can become compressed within the narrow space of the tarsal tunnel by a variety of conditions that take up space within it. These conditions include lesions or masses, enlarged veins, benign bony growths, and tumors of nerve fibers or ganglion cells. Certain injuries or trauma, as well as having flat feet can contribute to the development of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause pain, tingling, or burning anywhere on the tibial nerve, which runs from the ankle up through the back of the leg. If you believe you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who will examine you, and may also use nerve tests and imaging to help diagnose the issue. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome may include icing, resting, anti-inflammatory medicines, custom orthotics, and physical therapy. More severe cases may require steroid injections or even surgery to increase space within the tunnel and reduce pressure on the nerve.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Amir Lebaschi, DPM of Orange County Foot & Ankle Institute . 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 Santa Ana, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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