Tarsal tunnel syndrome
results from entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel which is situated on the inside of your ankle. The nerve compression causes referred pain along the nerve route to the heel and arch. Symptoms can present as a burning, numbing or tingling sensation radiating into the heel or arch. Symptoms are often worse after activity and sometimes can be present at night.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms can present similar to plantar fasciitis and as such it is often misdiagnosed by health professionals. Our podiatrists have experience in diagnosing and treating tarsal tunnel syndrome and know which foot types are more prone to it.
A common cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is excess foot pronation. When the foot excessively rolls inwards the nerve is often trapped amongst the tendons that are working hard to support the foot as it pronates. Constant repetitive compression forces on the nerve through poor foot mechanics will lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome at our Melbourne foot clinic focuses on the cause. Our podiatrists can use computer gait analysis to see if your feet excessively pronate. Treatment options include orthotics, footwear advice and stretching. Our podiatrists find that this works for 95% of the cases we see. Cortisone injections are often reserved for those cases that don’t respond to conservative treatment. It is important to remember that cortisone treats only the inflammation associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome and it will not treat the cause.