Some afflictions of the foot occur when a local nerve is damaged or strained, which can result in complications in the feet. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is one such foot affliction. This condition occurs in an individual when the tissue surrounding the tarsal tunnel aggravates the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve is located in the lower calf and runs to the heel of the foot. When this nerve aggravation occurs, the patient can feel pain when walking. By working with a podiatrist, a patient can receive a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome. There are different ways in which a podiatrist might go about making a diagnosis. In some cases, a podiatrist might conduct a simple examination of the affected foot. In other cases, the podiatrist might use nerve conduction studies. These studies essentially use electrical currents to measure the speed with which a nerve can produce impulses. If the posterior tibial nerve being studied produces impulses at a very slow rate, this can indicate the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Regardless of how a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome is performed, it can be very helpful to reach out to a podiatrist who will be able to best help you identify and treat this condition.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Toe-tal Family Footcare Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.
Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.
The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.
A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Vista, CA and Las Vegas, NV . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.