Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is tarsal tunnel syndrome?
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the posterior tibial nerve, which runs through the tarsal tunnel in the ankle, is irritated or subjected to excess pressure causing tingling or numbness in the foot. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome that affects the wrist. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is often difficult to diagnose.
What causes tarsal tunnel syndrome?
In many cases, the causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome are not known. Factors that may contribute to tarsal tunnel syndrome include flat feet, ankle injuries such as sprains, or anything that creates pressure on the tarsal tunnel such as ganglion cysts, bone spurs, and varicose veins.
What are the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome?
Common symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
- Pain or tingling in the bottom of the foot
- Swelling of the feet
- Increased pain following prolonged standing, walking, or exercising
How is tarsal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a physical exam and may order electromyogram (EMG) or a nerve conduction velocity test (NCV) to evaluate the posterior tibial nerve.
How is tarsal tunnel syndrome treated?
Early treatment recommendations for tarsal tunnel syndrome include resting the ankle, applying ice packs to the affected area, and wearing supportive shoes. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to help decrease pain and swelling. Your physician may also recommend other treatment options such as orthotic shoe inserts, cortisone injections, physical therapy, massage, or immobilization in a cast or brace.
Surgery is sometimes required to treat tarsal tunnel syndrome. It is often a minimally invasive operation that can be done on an outpatient basis. Your physician can advise you as to the best course of treatment for your particular case.