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Symptoms and Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 00:00

The tibial nerve is located in the ankle and runs through the tarsal tunnel. This is a passageway in the ankle that is made of bones and ligaments. Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve becomes compressed and may happen from overusing the foot and ankle. Common symptoms include a tingling or numbing feeling on the bottom of the foot, and there may be a burning sensation. It may worsen with prolonged standing or walking and may lessen when the affected foot is elevated. Tarsal tunnel syndrome may occur from having a cyst in the foot, severe flat feet, or possibly from an ankle deformity following an injury. Non-surgical treatment includes wearing orthotics and stopping the activity that caused the syndrome. If surgery is an option, healing time takes approximately two weeks. If you have chronic pain in the sole of your foot, please consider seeing a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. 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 Brunswick and Damariscotta, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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