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What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

There is a small canal between a bone in the ankle and the ligaments that stretch across the foot that is known as the tarsal tunnel. If this should become compressed and irritated, a condition that is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome may develop. A symptom of this condition may include a tingling sensation in the feet and toes, because this is the nerve that provides sensitivity to those areas of the foot. Additionally, many patients may experience a burning sensation in the sole of the foot. Some of the reasons that this condition can occur may include consistent motion which may come from participating in certain sporting activities. There may be existing medical conditions that may contribute to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, and these may include flat feet, diabetes, or obesity. If you have any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome