It is remarkable how similar your hands are to your feet. Most people know about or someone that has suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome. This is not the case with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Part of the reason is the confusing and differing symptoms that people experience.
Just like carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve gets pinched. The nerve that is compressed is called the posterior tibial nerve and this happens as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is located along the inner leg behind the bump on the inside of the ankle. The nerve becomes compressed due to a variety of things such as varicose veins, swollen tendons, cysts, inflammation, or swelling. Those suffering from tarsal tunnel syndrome typically feel tingling, burning, or a sensation similar to an electrical shock. Shooting pain and numbness are other common complaints. These symptoms are commonly noticed on the inside of the ankle and/or the bottom of the foot. Sometimes, symptoms are isolated to one spot while other times they will extend to the heel, arch, toes, or the calf. The timing of the pain is different in all patients with some having sudden pain while others experience it after prolonged standing, walking, or exercising.
The podiatrists at Fenton Foot Care have been trained in tarsal tunnel syndrome. During examination, the doctors may tap the nerve, manipulate the foot, or order advanced imaging studies. After the doctor arrives at this diagnosis, they will offer a combination of treatments such as rest, ice, nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, immobilization, physical therapy, local injection, or bracing. Sometimes surgery is the best option, especially if the previously mentioned treatments fail. Again, the podiatrists at Fenton Foot Care are well trained in determining when surgery is needed and which surgical procedure is best.