Tuesday, 21 March 2023 00:00

What Is a Tarsal Tunnel?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that runs behind and below the medial malleolus or the largest of the three bones that form the ankle. The tarsal tunnel contains important tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that help provide movement and flexibility in the foot. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is also known as tibial nerve dysfunction or posterior tibial nerve neuralgia. It is a type of neuropathy that is associated with the compression of nerves in the tarsal tunnel. It is like the more well-known and common condition that affects the wrists called carpal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can result from flat feet, a sprained ankle, or underlying conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes. It can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in the foot. If you suffer from foot pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist at your earliest convenience to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Robert Stein, DPM of South Shore Foot Care. 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 Cedarhurst and Franklin Square, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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