Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, like carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, is a compression neuropathy commonly seen in the inside of the ankle joint. This is not actually a joint problem, the tibial nerve is compressed as it runs between a thick, broad ligament and the bone underneath. For proper nerve function, this nerve should be able to glide freely. When the ligament compresses the nerve, this is not the case.
We see this pain often manifest as numbness, tingling, and shooting pain to the toes, even though the pathology is in the ankle. This is because nerves are able to refer pain anywhere along their distribution. Sometimes, the pain also shoots up the leg. Because the nerve is entrapped, we actually see this cause a vast array of complaints.
The trouble is, nerve pathology is difficult to diagnose without invasive tests. Often, the diagnosis is made clinically, based on history and symptoms, to avoid those tests. Should conservative treatment fail, such as orthotics and oral or injectable medications, surgery can be required to fix the problem. Prior to surgery, the invasive tests are required to rule out higher up nerve problems and rule in tarsal tunnel syndrome as a definitive diagnosis.
If you have heel pain that isn’t going away or strange numbness, tingling, and burning along the bottom of the foot to the toes, you may have been misdiagnosed elsewhere. At Eagle-Summit Foot and Ankle, we know to evaluate these less common causes of pain and will happily evaluate your foot pain. Please call our Avon Office at 970-949-0500 or our Frisco Office at 970-668-4565 or go to our online form to request an appointment.