What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when there is consistent and damaging pressure on the rear tibial nerve.

The tibial nerve branches off the sciatic nerve and can be found near the ankle. As this nerve runs through the inside of the ankle in what is called a tarsal tunnel, it is surrounded and bound by bone and tissue. Too much compression of this area can result in a sharp pain or tingling sensation usually felt in the foot or ankle. However, it is possible to feel the effects of this pressure anywhere along the tibial nerve.   

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the equivalent of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the foot and ankle.

Common causes of this syndrome include:

  • Flat Feet that stretch the nerve
  • Varicose Veins that surround the nerve
  • Inflammation from Arthritis
  • Inflammation from Diabetes
  • Injuries like Ankle Sprains or Fractures

Treatment Options for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

If not treated in a timely manner, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can develop into permanent nerve damage affecting the way one walks and participates in normal activities. If you are suffering from sharp pain near or around the ankle, see an orthopedic surgeon immediately to determine the most effective treatment plan for you. 

Anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections may be recommended to reduce swelling around the nerve. Other conservative corrective measures include rest, ice and elevation. A brace and or arch inserts in your shoes can also help offer support. Additionally, physical therapy may be used to strengthen the muscles around the nerve thus relieving the area of pressure.

If your symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome persist, contact Dr. Stacie Grossfeld. Dr. Grossfeld has over 25 years of experience in orthopedic medicine and is a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon. To get more information about treatment options or to make an appointment with the Orthopaedic Specialists, call 502-212-2663 today.