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What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs in the foot and ankle. It is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the wrist. Both disorders arise from the compression of a nerve in a confined space. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a constriction, or squeezing, on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere on the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. The posterior tibial nerve is the focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome. This nerve runs down the back of the calf and into the sole of the foot. When tissues around the tarsal tunnel become inflamed, they can swell and press on the nerve, causing severe pain. If you have pain in your foot or ankle and want to identify the source, it is suggested to consult with your local podiatrist. Your podiatrist may prescribe corticosteroid injections, orthoses, and in some cases, surgery to treat this ailment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact our podiatrist of Dr. Powers Foot and Ankle. Our doctor 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 Bloomington, Bedford, and Washington, IN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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