Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the foot and ankle and has many similarities to the wrist condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. In both instances, nerve stress and damage from repetitive use creates numbness, pain, and tingling in the area where a major nerve supplies one of your extremities.
When it involves your feet, swelling and irritation of the tissues around the posterior tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel cause these uncomfortable sensations. They can even radiate to the bottom of your foot and to the inner area of your ankle.
Some of the causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
- Sustaining injuries such as ankle sprains and strains that contribute to nerve irritation and compression.
- Untreated flat feet cause the foot to roll outward during walking which increases pressure on the posterior tibial nerve.
- Diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and peripheral artery disease increase the chances.
- A physical blockage like a varicose vein, ganglion cyst, or swollen tendon can press upon the nerve.
Initial treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
- Resting and icing the foot will help to decrease inflammation and promote healing
- Preventing excess movement of the foot and ankle with a rigid boot will allow the nerves and tissues to heal
- Physical therapy can help to increase strength and flexibility
- Ultrasound therapy can help relieve symptoms
- Custom orthotic inserts can be very effective at easing discomfort
- Specially-made foot and ankle braces may be needed to redirect pressure
If left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent damage, so see your foot doctor and get the right care. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal and Dr. Dolan Chowdhury treat a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high-quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen, and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.