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Examining Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tuesday, 12 April 2022 00:00

The tarsal tunnel is a very narrow passageway on the inside of your ankle where blood vessels, tendons, and the tibial nerve pass through. Because this “tunnel” is so narrow, the tibial nerve can become compressed or entrapped due to inflammation from a nearby injury, a ganglion cyst, bone spur, arthritis, repetitive stress, or by having flat feet or high arches. This condition is known as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome may cause pain that radiates to the foot, heel, and arch, as well as numbness, a pins-and-needles sensation, or muscle weakness in the foot and lower leg. A podiatrist will diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome with an examination, and by tapping on the posterior tibial nerve, and assessing the condition through various diagnostic imaging.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Deepa Bhatt-Montoya, DPM of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. 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 one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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