While you may be familiar with a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. which occurs in the wrist, there is a similar condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome that occurs in the ankle area of the foot.
The so-called tarsal tunnel is actually a hollow area that is formed by the ligaments, tendons, and other tissues on the inner side of the ankle. A major nerve called the posterior tibial nerve is located in this tunnel, and when the area is injured or the nerve is compressed, it can create a burning and tingling sensation that can be quite painful and debilitating.
Risk factors for tarsal tunnel syndrome include the following:
- Flat feet – that have not been properly treated can put excess stress on the ankles due to overpronation.
- Diseases – Arthritis, diabetes, and peripheral artery disease can all cause inflammation that can compress the posterior tibial nerve.
- Trauma to the foot – Ankle sprains may contribute to inflammation around the tarsal tunnel, causing nerve compression, pain, and discomfort.
Some treatment options for tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
- Resting, ice, elevation – Ice to reduce inflammation. Rest and elevate the foot to decrease swelling and speed healing.
- Orthotic shoe inserts – These will help relieve arch problems and decrease the movement that causes the nerve compression.
- Proper footwear – Shoes that have plenty of space for orthotic inserts and for your toes to move freely.
For proper treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome see your foot care specialist. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high-quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.