Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Do you have heel pain with burning/tingling/numbness shooting into your toes? Those are a few symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome. The tarsal tunnel is located on the inside or medial aspect of your ankle where the major nerve to the bottom or plantar aspect of your foot, the tibial nerve, travels along with a group of tendons and the posterior tibial artery in a sometimes very tight compartment with a ligament roof called the laciniate ligament.
Similarly to carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel syndrome may come about due to an overuse injury inflaming and thickening the nerve itself due to the bio mechanical structure of your foot, the demands on your feet due to activity, or even engorged veins/soft tissue masses entrapping the nerve as it courses through the tunnel. At times one of the branching nerves may also be entrapped. If your surgeon suspects tarsal tunnel syndrome, likely an MRI and/or nerve conduction studies will be ordered along with a course of nonsurgical treatment options. Surgical release of the laciniate ligament and adhesions around the tibial nerve and it's branches may be necessary.
Farwa Abid-Hoffman, DPM, MS