Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome happens when the tibial nerve becomes entrapped. The tibial nerve runs down the back of the leg, through the ankle and into the foot. If anything pinches this nerve (swelling or trauma), tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur. It can cause pain and tingling which gets worse throughout the day.

Who gets Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Anyone can get tarsal tunnel syndrome, but adults are usually the most affected. Causes can vary -- arthritis, obesity, scarring after trauma, or a tumor.

How is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosed?

After taking the patient's history, a physician may perform an EMG or nerve conduction study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also be used to see if anything is pressing against the tibial nerve.

How is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome treated?

In most cases, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or orthotic devices can help tarsal tunnel syndrome. If these treatments do not work, surgery can be useful.

More information on Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

The Podiatry Channel
American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
American Chronic Pain Association


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