Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the tibial nerve, which runs down the leg, through the ankle and into the foot, becomes compressed or damaged as it passes through the tarsal tunnel. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the inside of the ankle, surrounded by bone and other tissues.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury or trauma to the ankle, inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tarsal tunnel, the presence of a cyst or other growth in the area, or an abnormal structure of the foot or ankle that puts pressure on the nerve.
Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. In mild cases, the following treatments may be recommended:
Rest: Resting the affected foot and avoiding activities that aggravate the symptoms can help relieve pain and promote healing.
Ice: Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Compression: Wearing compression stockings or wrapping the foot with an elastic bandage can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Elevation: Elevating the affected foot above the level of the heart can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
The symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome can vary in severity and may include:
Pain: The most common symptom of tarsal tunnel syndrome is pain in the foot and ankle, which may be sharp, burning, or shooting in nature. The pain may be felt anywhere along the path of the tibial nerve, from the ankle to the heel and sole of the foot.
Numbness or tingling: People with tarsal tunnel syndrome may experience numbness or tingling in the foot and ankle, which may be accompanied by a sensation of pins and needles or a loss of sensation.
Weakness: Tarsal tunnel syndrome can also cause weakness in the foot and ankle, making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods.
Swelling: In some cases, tarsal tunnel syndrome may cause swelling in the foot and ankle, especially if the condition is caused by an injury or inflammation.