What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a narrow tunnel on the inside of the ankle. It is comprised of the bones of the ankle and the flexor retinaculum (a band of fibrous tissue along the ankle). Various structures travel through this tunnel into the foot including arteries, veins, tendons and nerves. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is sometimes referred to as tibial nerve dysfunction as the posterior tibial nerve is primarily involved in this injury. It is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist although it is much less common.

Repeated pressure upon the posterior tibial nerve as it travels through the tunnel results in damage. This is most often caused by injuries that involve trauma such as ankle sprains, which cause inflammation. Other causes include, pes planus (fallen arches), an abnormality of the structures that form the tarsal tunnel, or systemic disease such as diabetes or arthritis.

This condition typically may cause symptoms within the foot such as pain, numbness, tingling, hot or cold sensations or a shooting pain up the leg or even down into the toes. People frequently complain of sharp shooting pain in the foot and numbness along the bottom of the foot. Many describe the pain as a radiating, prickling or burning sensation along the posterior tibial nerve.

Here at Precision Health we offer services such as Chiropractic care and Podiatry which can aid in your recovery from tarsal tunnel syndrome. Call (02) 9639 7337 or visit our website to book an appointment now!

Kiel, J. and Kaiser, K. (2022) Tarsal tunnel syndrome – statpearls – NCBI bookshelf, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513273/ (Accessed: 10 September 2023).

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