We are on our feet everyday. Whether it is going to work, exercising, or spending time with the family it is almost impossible to avoid using our feet. With our feet being so active in our everyday lives, injuries and diseases may be unavoidable. One injury that may cause issues with your feet is a painful condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome. This condition may prevent you from doing the unavoidable everyday tasks we are required to accomplish.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, in your ankle, is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrist. Both conditions symptoms are caused by compression of a nerve that runs through a small space. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the nerve is located on the inside of you ankle.
What causes tarsal tunnel?
- Inflammation – increased swelling in the tarsal tunnel of your ankle may compress the nerve. Inflammation can occur from an ankle sprain, or systemic disease.
- Foot Structure – Some foot structures, like flat feet may stress the inside of the ankle. This stress can irritate the nerve causing the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- Abnormal structure – ganglionic cysts or even a swollen tendon are all space occupying structures that may cause irritation on the nerve.
What will tarsal tunnel feel like?
Treating tarsal tunnel syndrome depends on the cause of the nerve compression. Your podiatrist will examine the foot and determine the cause in order to effectively treat this condition. Common treatments include rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication. This will help reduce the swelling and help relieve the painful symptoms. Other treatments such as physical therapy or injections may be utilized to reduce symptoms to allow time for the nerve to heal. Once the cause is identified, treatments such as foot orthotics, supportive shoes or bracing may be recommended. After conservative treatment has been exhausted, surgery may be indicated. Your podiatrist will determine if surgery is needed.
Our feet are very important to us and we use them everyday. If you notice signs and symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome or any changes in their foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.