Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms And Treatment Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition causing compression against the tibial nerve as it passes through the tarsal tunnel, which is a passage between the bone structure of the medial (outer) ankle (actually, it is just behind the bony structure of the ankle) and soft tissue, called the flexor retinaculum. The tarsal tunnel contains a bundle of structure other than the tibial nerve, including an artery and tendons. Within the tunnel, the tibial nerve separates into three different nerves going to the heel and two others to the bottom of the foot. This condition will require peripheral neuropathy treatment. If the tibial nerve is sufficiently compressed by injury (sprain or fracture), inflammation, bone spurs, cysts, or other causes, the most immediate symptom is pain, which may be felt very locally, but more typically throughout the foot because of the split of the tibial nerve into the three pathways that extend throughout the foot. However, symptoms other than general pain may potentially occur singly or in combination: - Pain, numbness, tingling or burning regionally or throughout the foot and potentially extending to the lower leg. - Increased and proliferation of pain and/or above symptoms with prolonged standing or walking, with relaxation of symptoms when at rest. Also, these same sensations when operating an automobile or similar leg and foot activity while seated, such as playing a piano, organ, drum set or operating a sewing machine. Similar associated relief is also observed when these activities cease. - A sense that the foot does not have sufficient padding when standing or walking. - Hot and cold sensations. - Swelling and inflammation. The reason these activities have associated pain, numbness, etc, is because with compression of the tibial nerve, with resulting hyper-sensitivity of the three nerve branches downstream, sensations of discomfort are accentuated. In effect, the causes and symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome are similar in nature to carpal tunnel syndrome affecting the wrists. Diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome is made by three primary factors: interview with a patient's to reveal history, tapping lightly on the area of the tarsal tunnel, which should evoke immediate discomfort - and x-ray or MRI to visually identify swelling of the tibial nerve. Nerve conduction studies are sometimes performed - much like an electric circuit continuity test - however, this particular diagnostic method has resulted in negative results even if other methods indicate a significant tarsal tunnel syndrome condition. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome may be entirely benign, minimally invasive, or surgical in nature. The more conservative treatments are typically attempted first as they may achieve a cure
with no further treatment necessary. Benign treatments include rest with the affected foot raised, ice pack, oral ingestion of antiinflammatory and pain medication and a walker boot. Minimally invasive treatment includes stretching and strengthening exercises and medicinal injections. If these conservative treatments like Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment, fail, the treatment must resort to surgery to relieve the stressful compression on the tibial nerve. Sometimes, even though conservative treatments were attempted and the foot appears perfectly normal from an exterior observation, only surgery will identify the cause of compression on the tibial nerve and provide the necessary treatment to relieve the pain it causes.
Published on Sep 24, 2013