The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that lies inside the ankle, next to the ankle bones. The tunnel is covered by a thick ligament that protects the arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves in the tunnel. The posterior tibial nerve within the tunnel is the focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome because it is the compression or squeezing of this nerve that produces symptoms along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. This condition is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the wrist. Both arise from the compression of a nerve in a confined space. Those with flat feet, varicose veins, ankle sprains, or arthritis are more at risk for developing tarsal tunnel syndrome since these things can compress the nerve. When one has this syndrome, they might experience tingling or burning sensations, numbness, and/or pain on the inside of the ankle or on the bottom of the foot. These symptoms can also extend to the heel, arch, toes, and even calf. They are often brought on by overuse of the foot. It is important to seek treatment before permanent nerve damage results. If you think you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome or pain that resembles these symptoms, see a podiatrist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment that is right for you.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Cary Golub, DPM of New York. 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 offices located in Williston Park, and Long Beach, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.