Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
ICD 10 - G57.50
The tarsal tunnel is a space inside the outer aspect of the ankle near the bones. The tunnel is covered by a thick ligament called the flexor retinaculum which protects the tunnel. Arteries, veins, tendons and nerves run through this tunnel. The posterior tibial nerve runs through this tunnel and is the focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome. The compression or squeezing of this tunnel can cause the nerve to be pinched. Compression of the tunnel can be due to repetitive wear, flat feet, anomalous structures, injuries, arthritis, diabetes and other conditions. If untreated, the condition can be progressive and will continue to get worse.
- Tingling, burning or other neuropathological symptoms around the ankle
- Shooting pains near the ankle or the bottom of the foot
To confirm a diagnosis, the clinician will perform a physical examination for signs of neuropathy and poor biomechanics in the foot. Imaging studies are also likely to be ordered if abnormal growths around the area are found in order to evaluate possible nerve problems.
Conservative treatment is the first line of defense. Rest, icing and NSAIDs should first be tried to determine if the cause is overuse. If rest is not enough, orthotics, physical therapy, braces and modified shoes are likely to be ordered to correct the possible cause for the condition. If conservative treatment is insufficient, surgical means may be the best option for treating tarsal tunnel syndrome.