Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space on the inside of the ankle, located next to the ankle bones. Within the tarsal tunnel are a variety of tendons, arteries, veins, and nerves, including the posterior tibial nerve. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the posterior tibial nerve is squeezed or compressed. This can happen due to injuries that produce inflammation or swelling near the nerve, systemic diseases like arthritis, an abnormal structure such as a cyst putting pressure on the nerve, or flat feet straining the nerve as you walk. 

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include tingling, burning, or electrical shock sensations in the inside of the ankle or bottom of the foot, as well as numbness and shooting pains. In some cases, the symptoms are isolated to one small area, like the inner ankle. In other cases, the symptoms may affect the entire foot and ankle. Symptoms typically occur during or are aggravated by physical activities like walking, running, jumping, or prolonged standing. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed by a chiropodist through physical examination of the affected foot and ankle. Imaging studies may be used if the chiropodist suspects that the underlying cause may be a structural abnormality, like a cyst. Treatment options for this condition include resting and icing the affected area, taking oral medications to reduce pain, immobilizing or bracing the affected foot, wearing supportive shoes or orthotic inserts, and physical therapy. Left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, please consult with a chiropodist. 

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