Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a type of compression neuropathy that can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the ankle and the sole of the foot. The condition occurs when the posterior tibial nerve is pressured by inflammation or excess tissue at the point where it passes through the tarsal tunnel, a narrow channel formed by bones and ligaments on the inside of the ankle. In addition to the posterior tibial nerve, many important tendons, blood vessels, and nerves pass through the tarsal tunnel to provide movement and flexibility to the foot.
What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can result from:
- Flatfoot or a fallen arch
- Ankle swelling
- A chronic condition, such as diabetes or arthritis
- A bone spur
- A varicose vein
- A ganglion cyst
- A swollen tendon
How Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
The first step toward effective treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome is an accurate diagnosis. At Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Thermopolis, Wyoming, the board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons will begin by thoroughly evaluating the condition through a physical examination and possibly imaging or nerve conduction studies.
In general, we emphasize conservative treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome whenever possible. In addition to PRICE therapy—which involves protection, rest, ice applications, compression, and elevation—we may recommend a brace, splint, or custom orthotic to limit movement and reduce pressure on the tibial nerve. To address severe or persistent symptoms, we may suggest steroid injections into the tarsal tunnel or a surgical procedure (tarsal tunnel release). The surgeons at Premier Bone & Joint Centers are skilled and experienced in performing the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques.
If you are experiencing symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, you can request an appointment with a foot doctor at Premier Bone & Joint Centers. We can accurately diagnose and promptly treat your condition at our satellite clinic in Thermopolis, WY.