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The Definition of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, though less commonly known than other foot conditions, can cause significant discomfort and impairment for those affected. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, tarsal tunnel syndrome involves compression of the posterior tibial nerve as it passes through a narrow space in the ankle called the tarsal tunnel. This compression can result from various factors, including injury, inflammation, or underlying conditions like arthritis or diabetes. Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome may include burning pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the foot and ankle, often worsened by prolonged standing or walking. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and functional limitations. Diagnosis typically involves a thorough physical examination, along with imaging studies like MRI or nerve conduction tests. Early recognition and intervention are critical for managing tarsal tunnel syndrome effectively and minimizing long-term consequences. If you have any of the above symptoms, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you effective treatment solutions.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Julie Jurd-Sadler, DPM of Progressive Podiatry. 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 Ijamsville and Mouth Airy, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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