Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as TTS, occurs when the posterior tibial nerve becomes compressed and damaged, in turn causing inflammation. This is usually caused by continual overuse of the foot and ankle such as prolonged walking, running, standing, or exercising. If left untreated, TTS can cause permanent nerve damage. Some common treatments are wearing specialized shoes and inserts, over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and rest. Strengthening exercises should be done to help prevent problems. These exercises include heel-toe raises, pencil toe lifts and balance exercises. If not treated right away, TTS can lead to the risk of developing other conditions such as flat feet, fallen arches, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins and the susceptibility to becoming overweight. If you notice any symptoms of TTS, it is important that you see a podiatrist right away.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Westside Podiatry Center, LLP. 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.