The tarsal tunnel is located in your ankle and is what makes your ankles flexible. The tarsal tunnel is a canal in the ankle that is a collection of bones, blood vessels, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. It is similar to your carpal tunnel, which is located in your forearm.
The posterior tibial nerve passes through this canal in the ankle, and if compressed or pinched, it causes a condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) or posterior tibial neuralgia, and the symptoms are hard to ignore.
Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
While symptoms may vary from person to person, some examples of what you may experience with tarsal tunnel syndrome are shooting foot and ankle pain, tingling, and numbness. You may also experience a burning sensation in your foot and ankle, and the symptoms tend to get worse with movement. Walking and standing can exacerbate the symptoms, while resting often relieves them for a bit. Certain types of footwear can worsen symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
People who suffer from chronic swelling of the feet, diabetes, or arthritis are prone to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by injuries and conditions that compress the posterior tibial nerve with the tarsal tunnel. Some risk factors for tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
- Foot and ankle repetitive stress injuries
- Foot and ankle trauma injuries
- Fractures and dislocations
- Flat feet or fallen arches
- Chronic foot and ankle swelling (lower extremity edema)
- Ankle sprains
- Varicose veins in the lower leg
- Ganglion cysts
- Swollen tendons in the lower leg
- Bone spurs
- Being overweight or obese
- Tumor or lesion growing within the tarsal tunnel
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments
The proper diagnosis and treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome will involve you seeing a doctor that specializes in the care of the lower extremities. This type of doctor is called a podiatrist.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be treated non-surgically or surgically depending on the severity of the condition. Nonsurgical treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome includes rest and ice therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and the use of orthotic devices, such as braces and splints, to reduce pressure on the foot. Most patients are able to find relief with a combination of these treatments. If the symptoms do not go away, your doctor may recommend decompression surgery or tarsal tunnel release surgery.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment in South Texas
If you believe you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome or are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your daily routine and comfort, get examined by the professional podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas.
We provide top-notch podiatry services to patients with a broad range of foot and ankle injuries and conditions, including tarsal tunnel syndrome. With our decades of experience, we can relieve the pain you are feeling and get you back on your feet in no time.
To schedule a consultation, call The Podiatry Group of South Texas nearest you or send us an appointment request now. We look forward to assisting you soon!