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When the Tibial Nerve Becomes Compressed Within the Tarsal Tunnel

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the ankle through which tendons, muscles, arteries and the tibial nerve travel. Any inflammation, growth, or other abnormality can cause this already narrow space to constrict further, causing the tibial nerve to become compressed. This compression may be caused by ganglion cysts or other masses within or outside the tarsal tunnel, diabetes, flat feet, injuries, or other sources of inflammation. Tarsal tunnel syndrome creates various types of symptoms including burning or shooting pains, numbness, electric shock and pins-and-needles sensations along the nerve’s path. Tarsal tunnel syndrome left untreated, may cause permanent nerve damage. That is why it is important to seek treatment immediately from a chiropodist if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here.


Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause pain and progress over time. If you are experiencing any symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, please consult with one of the chiropodists from Complete Family Footcare & Therapy. Our clinicians will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the posterior tibial nerve, which is located within a structure called the tarsal tunnel on the inside of the ankle, is squeezed. Compression of the posterior tibial nerve can be caused by injuries, such as ankle sprains, systemic diseases like diabetes or arthritis, strain on the tarsal tunnel due to flat feet, or an enlarged structure like a cyst squeezing the nerve. 


Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear suddenly and are generally worsened by physical activity. 

Common symptoms include: 

  • Tingling, burning, or electrical shock sensation on the inside of the ankle or bottom of the foot

  • Numbness

  • Shooting pain 


Tarsal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed through physical examination. If initial treatment is ineffective, imaging or nerve studies may also be necessary. 


Nonsurgical treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome include resting and icing the foot, bracing or immobilizing the foot, wearing an orthotic device, modifying your footwear, and taking medications to relieve pain. Surgery may be needed if nonsurgical treatments are ineffective.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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