Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome


Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a squeezing or pinching of the tibial nerve. This nerve runs down the back of the leg to the inner ankle. In this area of the ankle joint, a complex mix of nerves, tendons, and ligaments meet. This makes it more likely that the tibial nerve could become pinched.

Certain things may increase your risk of the nerve being pinched. They include:

  • An injury to the ankle.
  • Being on your feet a lot.
  • Being an athlete.
  • Rolling the ankle inward when you walk or run (pronation).
  • A tissue mass or cyst.
  • Inflammation or swelling in the area.

Symptoms include burning foot pain. You may also have aching, numbness, and tingling in the sole or arch of the foot.

At first, treatment may include rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen. It can also include footwear that supports your feet. Examples are arch supports, custom orthotics, and support shoes. Your doctor might suggest physical therapy. If these treatments don't help, you might get steroid shots or medicine that targets nerve pain.

If these treatments don't help relieve your symptoms, you may need surgery.

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