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Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a painful foot condition. It occurs as a result of inflammation that happens to the tibial nerve that is located inside the tarsal tunnel. This is found on the inside of the foot close to the ankle and can be caused by a variety of things. Medical conditions such as flat feet, diabetes, or different types of arthritis may lead to the development of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, a sprained ankle can cause the tibial nerve to become compressed and may result in tarsal tunnel syndrome. A common procedure that can diagnose this condition is called the Tinel’s sign test. This is a simple test that presses on the tibial nerve, and the diagnosis is confirmed when the patient feels a tingling sensation. Mild relief may be found when the affected foot is elevated, and pain medicine may be prescribed. If you have ankle pain, it is suggested that you consult with a chiropodist who can effectively treat tarsal tunnel syndrome.

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.

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