The Tarsal Tunnel is a narrow opening in the ankle that leads arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves to the foot. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve is squeezed anywhere along this tunnel. While flat feet lead to a higher risk of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, an injury, diabetes, or an abnormal structure like a bone growth, can all lead to the compression or squeezing of the nerve. Symptoms are usually felt in the ankle or bottom of the foot and include a tingling or burning sensation, numbness, and shooting pain. In order to prevent permanent damage to the nerve, it is important to have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosed by a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose the extent of the injury and determine the best course of treatment that may include surgery, therapy, orthotic devices, or simply rest.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. 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 our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome