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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Tarsal tunnel syndrome


Other Names for this Disease

  • Neuropathy of the posterior tibial nerve and its branches
  • Posterior Tibial Nerve Neuralgia
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

What is tarsal tunnel syndrome?

What symptoms are commonly seen in tarsal tunnel syndrome?

What causes tarsal tunnel syndrome?

What treatment is available for tarsal tunnel syndrome?

What is tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder that is characterized by pain in the ankle, foot, and toes. This condition is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve, which runs through a canal near the heel into the sole of the foot. When tissues around this nerve become inflamed, they can press on the nerve and cause the pain associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome.[1]
Last updated: 7/15/2013

What symptoms are commonly seen in tarsal tunnel syndrome?

The symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome can vary from person to person. The most common symptom of tarsal tunnel syndrome is foot and ankle pain. Individuals may also experience a burning or tingling sensation and numbness.[2] These symptoms may occur when a person stands, walks, or wears a particular type of shoe.[1] Pain usually worsens during walking and is relieved by rest.[1]
Last updated: 7/15/2013

What causes tarsal tunnel syndrome?

There are a variety of factors that may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. These may include repetitive stress with activities, trauma (e.g., crush injury, stretch injury, fractures, ankle dislocations or sprains), flat feet, and excess weight. Additionally, any lesion that occupies space within the tarsal tunnel region may cause pressure on the nerve and subsequent symptoms. Examples include tendonitis, hematoma, tumor, varicose veins, and lower extremity edema.[2]
Last updated: 7/15/2013

What treatment is available for tarsal tunnel syndrome?

While we do not provide medical advice, the following have been reported as treatment options for tarsal tunnel syndrome.[2] Individuals should discuss the various treatment options with their personal healthcare provider.

  • Rest and ice
  • Oral pain medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Local anesthetics
  • Physical therapy
  • Immobilization
  • Orthotic devices
  • Decompression surgery
  • Last updated: 7/15/2013

    References
    1. Tarsal tunnel syndrome. The Merck Manuals: Online Medical Library. February 2003; http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec05/ch072/ch072d.html. Accessed 2/26/2008.
    2. Tarsal tunnel syndrome. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Web site. February 1, 2004; http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/tarsal-tunnel-syndrome.htm. Accessed 2/26/2008.


    Other Names for this Disease
    • Neuropathy of the posterior tibial nerve and its branches
    • Posterior Tibial Nerve Neuralgia
    See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.