What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

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The tarsal tunnel is a narrow section of your ankle bone that is used by a group of tendons and ligaments that span across the top of your foot. It is the conduit and insulator for the nerves, tendons, veins and arteries that allow your foot to move. The most important nerve inside the tarsal tunnel is the tibial nerve since it is the main nerve responsible for having feeling on the bottom of your foot. This nerve can become damaged, inflamed and irritated from excess pressure and stress, causing the condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS).

Symptoms, injuries and diseases associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome include the following:

  • Burning and tingling or numbness
  • Stabbing pain
  • Flat feet
  • Ankle injury
  • Systemic diseases including diabetes and arthritis
  • Bone spurs

Confirming a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome can be difficult so it is important to consult with a foot care professional to get the right diagnosis and develop the most comprehensive treatment plan. Your foot doctor will do a complete clinical exam followed by X-ray or other imaging studies. Electrical testing such as EMG or nerve conduction evaluation may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis and devise the best treatment plan.

Non-surgical treatment options for tarsal tunnel syndrome may include steroid injections, pain relievers, and the use of splints, braces, and orthotic inserts to redistribute pressure away from the nerve. In cases where TTS does not respond well to conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the tibial nerve.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from TTS, consult with your podiatrist right away. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.