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Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the feet. It gradually happens as a result of repetitive motion, causing the tibial nerve to become irritated or compressed. This is located inside the tarsal tunnel and is accompanied by ankle pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms can include a numbing or tingling sensation, and the overall foot may feel weak. People who have flat feet may be prone to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome, or it may occur in patients who have had a previous ankle injury. A lipoma, or mass, that lies near the tibial nerve may also cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Having unexplained ankle pain may prompt an exam to be done which can properly diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome. This can consist of having an MRI or Tinel’s test performed, both of which are accurate tests that can confirm this diagnosis. Treatment often begins with frequently elevating the foot, and relief may be found when an elastic compression bandage is worn for support. If you have ankle pain, it is strongly suggested that you confer 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 Glenn Aufseeser, DPM of Lakewood Foot and Ankle Specialists. 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 Lakewood and Manchester Township, NJ . 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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