Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
You may have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome – where the nerves in your wrists are compressed and cause pain or numbness in your hands and fingers. There is another tunnel in your body that you may not know about. It’s called the tarsal tunnel, and it’s located on the inside of your ankle. The same thing can happen here that happens in your wrists: compressed nerves can cause problems in your feet and toes.
Your Intricate Feet
There are so many bones and ligaments in your ankles and feet, and they have to move in many ways, twisting, turning and rubbing past each other. Nerves and blood vessels are also part of the system, bringing stimuli from your brain to direct your movements, and blood from your heart to feed the cells of your feet. Since your ankle doesn’t have the padding of tissue found around many other joints, other protection is needed. A thick ligament called the flexor retinaculum serves that purpose, forming a tunnel for tendons, nerves, arteries, and veins that protects them from impact.
What Goes Wrong
One of those nerves is the posterior tibial nerve which leads into your foot. When it is compressed, tarsal tunnel syndrome is the result. Symptoms include a tingling or burning sensation like an electric shock, sharp nerve pain, or numbness. Several things can put pressure on this nerve. The foot structure may be altered, such as with flat foot, and the abnormal configuration may put stress on the nerve. Arthritis can cause swelling or bone spurs that compress the nerve. Cysts or varicose veins can also press on that nerve in the narrow space of the tunnel.
Treatments Are Available
Don’t wait if you experience any of the symptoms listed above – contact Aadvanced Foot Care Associates for a thorough evaluation of your foot problem. This condition can worsen if it is not treated, and you may end up with permanent nerve damage. We may recommend a variety of conservative treatment methods – alone or in tandem – to relieve your symptoms: resting and icing to reduce swelling and relieve pain; a cast or a brace to keep the foot immobile or keep pressure off from it; medication, both oral and injections; custom shoes or orthotics to correct structure and gait problems; and physical therapy or ultrasound treatment to improve the condition of the muscles and other tissues. Improvement should occur within a few days to a few weeks, depending on your particular condition and how severe it is.
The specialists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates have over 100 years of combined foot care know-how in treating all types of foot problems. Let them use that experience to help you find relief for your tarsal tunnel syndrome or other discomforts. Call the Rego Park office at (718) 896-4433, the Plainview location at (516) 822-9595, or the Flushing office (718) 969-2266 and set up a time to be seen. You can also request an appointment online. Tunnel out from your discomfort toward a life without foot pain!