Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The Tarsal Tunnel is a narrow space that lies on the inside of the ankle. Tarsal Tunnel syndrome is a compression on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere along the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. The tunnel is covered with a thick ligament that protects and maintains the structures contained within the tunnel. One of these structures is the posterior tibial nerve.
Symptoms are typically felt on the inside of the ankle and/or on the bottom of the foot. In some people, a symptom may be isolated and occur in just one spot. In others, it may extend to the heel, arch, toes, and even the calf.
- Pain, including shooting pain in and around ankles and sometimes the toes
- Tingling, burning, or a sensation similar to an electrical shock
- Numbness in and around ankles and sometimes the toes
- Swelling of the feet
Sometimes the symptoms of the syndrome appear suddenly. Often they are brought on or aggravated by overuse of the foot, such as in prolonged standing, walking, exercising, or beginning a new exercise program.
Our highly skilled Physiotherapists will examine the foot to arrive at a diagnosis and determine if there is any loss of feeling.
A variety of treatment options, often used in combination, are available to treat tarsal tunnel syndrome. These include:
Immobilisation - Restricting movement of the foot by Taping & Strapping is sometimes necessary to enable the nerve and surrounding tissue to heal.
Exercise - Exercises may be prescribed to reduce symptoms.
Orthotic devices - To help maintain the arch and limit excessive motion that can cause compression of the nerve, we may prescribe either off the shelf corrective insoles or customised orthotics, which we manufacture bespoke for you using our Gait Scan technology.
Shoes - Supportive shoes may be recommended
Our Physiotherapists have a great deal of specific clinical experience in the management of nerve related injuries.
It is very important to seek early treatment by our foot and ankle Chartered Physiotherapist if any of the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome occur. If left untreated, the condition progresses and may result in permanent nerve damage. In addition, because the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome can be confused with other conditions, proper evaluation is essential so that a correct diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment initiated.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by anything that produces compression on the posterior tibial nerve, such as:
- flat feet
- An enlarged or abnormal structure eg. varicose vein,
- Swelling or inflammation.
- Systemic diseases