Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve. The posterior tibial nerve runs down behind the medial (inside) ankle bone through the tarsal tunnel. It is responsible for innervating only muscles of the sole of the foot. The borders of the tarsal tunnel are relatively rigid so any swelling within the tunnel will compress the posterior tibial nerve.
Compression of the posterior tibial nerve can be caused by a severely flat foot as a flat foot puts extra stretch on the nerve. Bone spurs, benign tumours and cysts can all also cause compression of the nerve. Varicose veins visible or not around the tarsal tunnel are enlarged veins that can impinge on the nerve. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can also be cause by inflammation from Rheumatoid arthritis or from an injury such as an ankle sprain. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of nerve compression.
Symptoms can be felt anywhere along the nerve, usually the sole of the foot or the inside of the ankle. Pain caused by tarsal tunnel syndrome may be severe or burning and is worse when standing or walking. Numbness, tingling, electric shock sensation or pins and needles are also indicators of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome should be diagnosed by a doctor as if left untreated it can cause irreversible nerve damage. If tarsal tunnel syndrome is due to flat feet one treatment option the Dr is likely to recommend is an insole with a good arch support to reduce the stretch on the posterior tibial nerve.
Would you like to know more about common foot pain problems before making a choice? You may find one of the following blog articles useful:
Achilles Tendonitis Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Achilles Tendonitis?’ blog to find out more.
Diabetic Neuropathy Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Diabetic Neuropathy?’ blog to find out more.
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?’ blog to find out more.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?’ blog to find out more.