Causes and Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by repeated pressure on the posterior tibial nerve near the ankle. It can lead to debilitating symptoms such as pain, numbness, or tingling sensations, often radiating into the sole of the foot or inside the ankle. This compression occurs within the tarsal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway bound by bone and soft tissue. Tarsal tunnel syndrome's origins include severely flat feet, benign bony growths, and varicose veins. Inflammation from arthritis, lesions or masses near the tibial nerve, and trauma from ankle sprains or fractures also may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Patients with conditions like diabetes are at further risk. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent and irreversible nerve damage that may affect mobility and hinder completing daily activities. If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dean Kim, DPM of Greater Texas Foot & Ankle Specialist. 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 Frisco, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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