Tarsal Tunnel

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve, which runs through the ankle, becomes squeeze or is under abnormal pressure and it becomes inflamed.

It’s kind of like carpal tunnel syndrome — which is a wrist disorder – of the foot.

What Does Tarsal Tunnel Feel Like?

Symptoms can include a burning pain in the arch, heel and maybe the toes; a tingling or numbness in the bottom of the foot; and pain when running, standing or laying down. 

Sometimes the pain may come on suddenly, and other times it might be brought on by overuse like working out or standing for a long time.

Tarsal Tunnel Examination

We’ll examine the foot and ankle carefully and perform a comprehensive gait analysis.

There’s a simple way to tap on part of the foot where the nerve lies, and if it hurts, there’s a good chance it’s tarsal tunnel. We may also perform an in-house nerve conduction velocity or EMG test to rule any nerve entrapment.

Tarsal Tunnel Causes

There are a few potential causes of tarsal tunnel, such as flat feetover-pronation (the foot rolls inward when you walk), a sprained ankle, diabetes and arthritis.

It can also be caused by nearby foot problems that can add pressure to the nerve, like a bone spurganglion cyst or an inflamed tendon.

Conservative Treatment Options
  • Rest,
  • Applying ice,
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and
  • Possibly using a cast that will immobilize your foot so it can heal properly.
  • It’s important to properly support the arch, so we often will recommend orthotics, which will give you long-term relief.
  • We might also send you for physical therapy,
  • Use injections to relieve the pain and inflammation, or
  • Fit you with a brace that will relieve pressure from the foot.

In some cases, surgery might be necessary, but only after we have exhausted the more conservative treatment options.

If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment

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There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid or CareSource plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.