What is it?
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression (or squeezing) of the major nerve on the inside of the ankle. If this nerve gets swollen and trapped between the structures of the foot, it can trigger altered sensations and pains.
What are the symptoms?
- Shooting pain generally at the bottom of the foot and inside the ankle (increases with activities and reduces with rest)
- Tingling/ burning/ stabbing sensation
- Inflammation/ swelling at the inside of the ankle
Why did I get it?
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by many factors that produce compression of the nerve and can affect people of all ages and gender. Common risk factors that patients often present with include:
- Previous injury (e.g. ankle sprain)
- Excessive pronation
- Poor footwear
- Space occupying lesions within the tarsal tunnel (e.g. cyst)
- Systemic diseases (e.g. diabetes, arthritis)
How is it diagnosed?
A thorough history and clinical examination will usually diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the examination and the severity of symptoms, you may be referred for an Ultrasound or MRI to rule out further pathology or determine a cause
How can I treat it?
Whilst tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition, patients experience successful results with conservative treatments. It is particularly important to correct any biomechanical risk factors such as excessive rolling of the feet to rin order to reduce nerve compression. Conservative treatment options include:
- Rest, ice
- Stretching/ strengthening program
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Footwear advice
- Biomechanical correction
- Neuromuscular needling
- Custom orthotics
- Corticosteroid injection