The condition of tarsal tunnel syndrome that affects the foot has many similarities to the wrist condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. In both cases, nerve stress and damage from repetitive use can cause numbness, pain, tingling, and a burning sensation.
In the case of your feet, inflammation and constriction of the tissues around the posterior tibial nerve can cause these uncomfortable sensations to radiate to the bottom of the foot and to the inward facing side of the ankle.
The causes and risk factors of tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
Injuries such as ankle sprains and strains that contribute to nerve compression
Having flat feet causes the foot to roll outward, increasing nerve stress
Systemic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and peripheral artery disease are risk factors
A physical obstruction such as a varicose vein, ganglion cyst, or swollen tendon that is pressing on the nerve can cause the condition
Initial treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
Resting and icing to lower inflammation and promote the healing response
Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs to relieve pain and swelling
Immobilization of the foot and ankle with a rigid boot to allow the nerves and tissues to heal
Physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility
Custom made orthotic inserts combined with supportive and properly-fitted shoes
Foot and ankle braces may be required to redistribute pressure
In severe cases that don’t respond to conservative methods, surgery may be needed to relieve pain and pressure.
Untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can evolve to cause permanent damage, so be sure to consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!