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Medical Conditions That May Lead To Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The nerve that is located inside the tarsal tunnel is called the posterior tibial nerve. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passageway that is found inside the ankle. It is held in place by soft tissue and bone, and this nerve can become compressed and irritated due to consistent pressure. It can also happen from medical conditions such as flat feet, diabetes, or arthritis which may cause this nerve to become irritated and inflamed. This is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Patients may experience a numbing or burning sensation and there may be shooting pain on the inside of the ankle. In severe cases, the pain may radiate to the heel, arch, and toes. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is frequently rested and specific stretches are performed. These can include standing on the toes while using a chair for support and lifting the heels off of the floor. This is most effective when several sets are completed with a short rest period in between. If you think you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is strongly urged that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat this condition.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Gerber Podiatry Clinic. Our doctors 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 our office located in Evanston, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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