Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition when the nerve is compressed on the inside of the ankle. This condition is very similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome which occurs in the wrist. A direct pressure on the nerve will cause burning sensation and pain followed with tingling and numbness extending into the heel, foot and the toes.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a fairly common condition that can be caused by various circumstences but it is more common in athletes and active people. People that have flat feet tend to put more pressure on the medial side of the foot causing more pressure in the ankle region. Also, any direct trauma to the ankle or any abnormalities within the ankle such as varicose veins, ganglion cyst and arthritic spurs can compress the nerve.
Signs and Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms is a burning pain on the inside of the heel followed by an “electric shock” like sensation extending into the foot or upwards towards the knee. There could also be some pins and needles like sensation that could lead to complete numbness in the heel, ankle, or the foot. This discomfort can be present while walking, standing and even resting.
All our treatment options are either conservative or minimally invasive in nature. But, it is very important to have a detailed physical assessment. This exam will address everything from symptoms, activity levels, footwear, previously attempted therapies, etc. This will allow us to develop an appropriate rehabilitation protocol that will give you satisfactory results and get you back to your daily activities as soon as possible. If this condition is left untreated it can lead to permanent nerve damage resulting in other foot issues. Appropriate treatment will depend on the assessment and the right diagnosis.
If you are having issues with the heel or foot pain, if you are not recovering in a timely manner or would like a second opinion please contact us for an evaluation.