Carpal tunnel syndrome is more of a household name than tarsal tunnel syndrome. Busy and hardworking Americans are required to use their hands for jobs such as excessive typing, constant lifting, and cooking. Tarsal tunnel is a similar condition to carpal tunnel, except it describes damage to one or more nerves on the inside of the ankle.
At US Neuropathy Centers, our providers are podiatric and peripheral neuropathy experts, assisting suffering patients every single day. With 14 locations currently, US Neuropathy Centers is the largest nerve treatment group, with the plan to expand more centers across the United States. We not only provide the best treatments for nerve damage, our providers give patients the tools they need to live happier and healthier lives.
Understanding tarsal tunnel syndrome starts with understanding the anatomy. The posterior tibial nerve runs just behind the “bump” (medial malleolus) on the inside of the ankle. The nerve lies under a band of tissue, known as the flexor retinaculum. This tissue creates a tunnel, called the tarsal tunnel, which is made up of the ankle bone and tissue. Though compression of the posterior tibial nerve almost always present with tarsal tunnel syndrome, other nerves can be affected as well. These include the medial and lateral plantar nerves and the medial calcaneal nerve.
What causes the nerve to become entrapped in tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused from a number of things. Doctors believe that tissue inflammation around the nerve is one of the contributing factors to the problem. Other causes may be:
- Swollen varicose veins
- A tumor on the tibial nerve
When pressure is put on the nerve, the muscles and tissues that control the foot become weak. Pain and numbness eventually ensues as a result of the entrapped nerve. Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome range from mild to severe pain in the sole of the foot, sometimes felt as burning or tingling.
Luckily, people living in pain from a tarsal tunnel syndrome diagnosis have a number of treatment options, which can vary depending on the root cause of the nerve entrapment. A surgical release, where the nerve is freed of the tissue pressing on it, is a very common solution. In mild cases, nonsurgical intervention may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Orthotic shoe inserts
If you suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome or experience foot pain, trust the experts at US Neuropathy Centers to help.
If you are suffering from neuropathy, please do not hesitate to call us at any of our US Neuropathy Centers locations. With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, our neuropathy experts are easily accessible and here to help.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018