Tuesday, 31 October 2023 00:00

Diagnosing Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a rare condition that affects the nerves in the foot and ankle. It can cause foot pain or tingly sensations and may weaken some foot muscles. This syndrome is usually caused by things like wearing shoes that do not fit well, or by a tight cast. Sometimes, injuries like sprains or fractures can also lead to this condition. Rarely, it could be caused by lumps, cysts, or infections. It can be hard to diagnose, but podiatrists rely on a clinical assessment and can use special tests like electromyography, EMG, or electroneurography, ENG. These diagnostic tools show which muscles are having problems because of nerve damage. If it is found that the issue is in the tarsal tunnel area of your foot, the next step is to find out what is causing the nerve to be pinched or squeezed. If you have foot or ankle pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation, precise treatment, and management strategies for symptom relief.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of David A. Scalzo, DPM, PC and 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 offices located in Duryea and Bangor, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

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