Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is a painful condition of the foot caused by the irritation of the posterior tibial nerve or one of its branches. It is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and many who suffer from TTS also suffer from CTS. Podiatry Today explains TTS’ symptoms:
Patients may say they have pain at the bottom of the foot and inside of the ankle that they characterize as burning, shooting, searing, stabbing, tingling or numbing. This pain is aggravated by activity and relieved by rest. Other symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include, tenderness with palpation over the tarsal tunnel, sensory loss in the areas that the posterior tibial nerve supplies, hammertoes, and muscle weakness and atrophy in severe cases.
There are many possible causes of the nerve impingement that leads to TTS. These causes can be idiopathic, or associated with traumatic injuries or serious diseases. Examples of traumatic injuries and serious diseases include arthritis, overpronation, flat feet, sprained ankles, ganglion or cysts in the tarsal tunnel, and diabetes.
You need to see a foot doctor in Lansdale immediately if you believe you are suffering from TTS. Physical and biomechanical examination, nerve conduction studies, and x-rays will help your doctor arrive at a definitive diagnosis and determine your condition’s specific causes. Depending on its severity, the doctor may recommend conservative treatments such as rest, ice, physical therapy, braces, footwear changes, anti-inflammatory medications or injections, and prescription orthotics.
In cases where conservative treatments fail, surgical decompression of the nerve may be required. According to the Podiatry Today article, “Decompression of the tarsal tunnel consists of releasing certain soft tissue structures to reduce pressure on the nerve or nerves. The three big components to the release are release of the flexor retinaculum, release of the deep fascia and release of the posterior tibial nerve and its branches from any surrounding tissue that may be compressing them.”
Following surgical correction by a podiatrist in Lansdale or other boroughs in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, patients may have to wear crutches with no weightbearing involved on the affected foot for four to six weeks. Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel reminds patients that it’s possible for TTS to recur.
(Article Excerpt and Image from When Patients Present With Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome; Podiatry Today)