How to Manage Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Pain

How to Manage Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Pain

Do you have pain on the inside of your ankle that gets worse as the day goes on? Or do you get a tingling, burning, or shooting sensations in your foot? If so, it could be due to tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Fortunately, if you’re dealing with ankle pain, we can help. Here at Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Granby, Evergreen, and Thornton, Colorado, our providers offer specialized ankle care. We can diagnose the cause of your ankle pain and develop a treatment plan to give you relief.

In this blog, we explain what tarsal tunnel syndrome is, what can cause it, and how it can be treated.

The basics of tarsal tunnel syndrome

In your ankle is what’s called the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is a passageway through which nerves, blood vessels, and tendons travel from your leg to your foot.

If this tunnel gets compressed, this can put pressure on the tibial nerve that runs through it. This, in turn, can cause the unwelcome symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome

As mentioned, tarsal tunnel syndrome develops because pressure is placed on the tibial nerve. This pressure can develop for a number of reasons, such as the following:

Structural issues 

Many people develop this condition because they have flat feet. This condition can cause the tarsal tunnel to collapse, which can put pressure on the tibial nerve. Similarly, high arches can narrow the tarsal tunnel, which can impact the nerve. 

Injuries

Injuries can also compromise the tarsal tunnel. About two out of every five people with tarsal tunnel syndrome have a history of injuries, such as ankle sprains. Inflammation from injuries can narrow the tunnel, which can put pressure on the tibial nerve.

A mass

If there’s a mass growing in the area, this could put pressure on the tarsal tunnel. If we suspect this might be to blame, we can order an MRI.

All told, a lot of factors can contribute to ankle pain. However, our team can determine the cause and develop a treatment plan to give you relief.

Getting relief from tarsal tunnel syndrome

Your treatment will depend on what’s causing your symptoms. In general, however, we usually start with conservative options.

For example, if the cause is flat feet or high arches, we can explore making mechanical corrections. That could mean taping your foot or using orthotics to keep your foot in better alignment. In other cases, we might also explore physical therapy or injections. 

If conservative treatments don’t give you relief, we may explore surgical options with you. Sometimes surgery is necessary to prevent scarring from occurring around your tibial nerve, which could cause permanent nerve damage. 

If you’re living with tarsal tunnel syndrome — or ankle pain you can’t explain — we can help. To learn more, call 303-423-2520 or book an appointment online with Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center today.

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