Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

San Francisco Podiatrist – Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tarsal tunnel runs inside the ankle next to the ankle bones. A thick ligament protects the tunnel structure as well as the arteries, tendons, vessels and nerves contained within it. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is associated with the posterior tibial nerve, a nerve that goes from the ankle interior to the foot and is protected by the tarsal tunnel. When this nerve is compressed or squeezed patients experience burning, tingling, numbness and shooting pains. The symptoms can be focused in one spot on the ankle or foot, or they may occur anywhere from the toe to up along the calf. A person may develop tarsal tunnel syndrome from long hours of overuse, fallen arches, abnormal tunnel growths, injury, weight gain or swelling associated with arthritis or diabetes.

A San Francisco Podiatrist will examine the foot for feeling loss and malformations that may indicate a compressed nerve. An MRI or more involved nerve testing can provide a better evaluation of this condition. Treatments include rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, immobilization, orthotic inserts and shoe adaptations. These conservative approaches can help control the movement and support of the foot and may improve or reverse the condition. If these are not successful, surgery is considered an effective way to remove whatever is causing the nerve pressure and hopefully relieve pain permanently.