3 Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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An hollow area formed by bones and tissues of your foot near the top of the ankle create a tunnel that carries the nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and other components that make it possible for you to move and have feeling in your foot. One specific nerve, called the tibial nerve, is very susceptible to compression and damage from stress and pressure due its location in the tunnel. Since this is the nerve that provides feeling for the bottom of your foot, when it becomes irritated you will feel considerable pain, tingling, and numbness.

3 possible causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome include:

1)    Flat feet—people who have untreated flat feet are more susceptible to tarsal tunnel compression

2)    Injuries—Experiencing an injury to the foot or ankle can increase stress on the nerves running through the tarsal tunnel

3)    Systemic disease—Diseases that affect the nerves including diabetes and arthritis can cause tarsal tunnel nerve compression

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be hard to diagnose since it has similar symptoms to other foot problems.  Your foot doctor will perform a variety of testing including nerve conduction studies, x-rays, and a physical examination.

Some treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome include the following:

  • Over-the- counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen will help reduce inflammation and pain

  • Specially designed braces and custom orthotic inserts will move pressure away from the nerve and allow it to heal

  • Surgery may be needed in severe cases to relieve the pressure on the nerves

If you suspect that you may have nerve damage in your tarsal tunnel, see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and treatment. 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.