Tarsal tunnel syndrome (foot nerves damage)

Feet | Orthopaedics | Tarsal tunnel syndrome (foot nerves damage) (Disease)


The tarsal tunnel syndrome is a neuropathy due to compression of the nerve to the medial malleolus of the ankle joint. The tibial nerve is a division of the sciatic nerve, which descends to the back of the leg, with long arcuate paths behind and below the medial malleolus (inside the ankle bone). Tunnel syndrome occurs in a compression of the tibial nerve (internal sciatic nerve) or one of its branches. This nerve or its branches may be embarrassed by some elements of the ankle joint as the calcaneus, the medial malleolus and the annular ligament of the tarsus.

A slight numbness appears (paresthesias) in the sole of the foot and toes of the foot. Other symptoms include pain in the fingers and soles that worsen if there is pressure on the medial malleolus.

Causes and Risk Factors

Some causes of the tarsal tunnel syndrome include: trauma in the region (the most common cause), rheumatoid arthritis, other joint disease (arthritis, arthrosis); the deformation of the bone which occurs after several fractures.

Diagnosis and treatment

Thermographic analysis and ultrasound are decisive for extremely useful information. The doctor will look for swelling in the tarsal tunnel and the medial arch. It will also attempt to reproduce the pain experienced during a syndrome.

If the condition is due to poor positioning of the heel, the doctor tries to correct the position of the latter by special shoes, orthotics, etc. He may also propose an anti-inflammatory treatment or applying ice several times a day to reduce swelling at the ankle joint.

If these methods fail, the tarsal tunnel syndrome may be solved surgically. It aims to release or loosen these structures in the tarsal tunnel. This correction is done by increasing the height of the medial plantar nerve. ...