Tuesday, 05 December 2023 00:00

Causes and Definition of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, a condition affecting the inner ankle and foot, arises from compression of the tibial nerve within the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel, enclosed by bone and soft tissues, houses nerves, arteries, and tendons. When pressure on the tibial nerve increases, it can result in tarsal tunnel syndrome. Causes vary, with one primary factor being overuse, leading to inflammation and swelling within the tunnel. Flat feet or conditions altering foot biomechanics may contribute by narrowing the tunnel and compressing the nerve. Ankle injuries, cysts, or tumors within the tunnel can exacerbate the compression, as can systemic conditions like diabetes or arthritis. Symptoms encompass tingling, burning sensations, and pain radiating to the arch, heel, or toes. Recognizing these indicators and understanding the diverse causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome is vital for timely intervention. If you have foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Afsha Naimat-Shahzad, DPM of Leander Foot & Ankle. 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 Leander, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Connect With Us