There is a narrow passageway in the ankle that is called the tarsal tunnel. The tibial nerve runs through this tunnel and can become damaged if an injury has occurred or if there is consistent pressure on it. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can include a numbing sensation, or it may feel like it is burning with sharp, shooting pains. Existing medical conditions may lead to getting tarsal tunnel syndrome. These can include arthritis, flat feet, or diabetes. The pain is often felt in the ankle, and a diagnosis is needed to properly confirm tarsal tunnel syndrome. In addition to examining the affected foot, a test may be performed which is called Tinel’s test. This is done by gently tapping on the tibial nerve which will tingle if this condition is present. There may be an MRI that is taken that is successful in determining if there is a bony growth or mass that can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Effective treatment methods can include frequently elevating the feet, and possibly wearing a brace or a splint that can limit mobility. If you have this type of pain in your ankle, please consult a podiatrist for a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Parkwood Podiatry. 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 offices located in Brunswick and Hinesville, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.