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Visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists for Specialized Care

Your body contains many tendons, nerves, and muscles that all work together to allow for movement and proper function. The feet and ankles alone contain hundreds of tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which seems like a lot for such a small area. However, they are all necessary to help you complete daily tasks you likely take for granted, like walking, standing, or playing sports. Unfortunately, injury to this area is common and can even develop into chronic conditions that leave you in pain. Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists provides treatment for many different foot and ankle conditions, including tarsal tunnel syndrome, at our Sugar Land, TX location. Please reach out to us today to learn more about the care we provide.

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What Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by the compression or squeezing of the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve, along with three tendons, two veins, and one artery, occupies a tight space called the tarsal tunnel, which is located on the inside of the ankle. Swelling and inflammation of the tendons within this space can put pressure on the posterior tibial nerve, compressing it and causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain and tingling. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is closely related to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the hands and wrist.

Foot and Ankle Injuries and their Treatments in Sugar Land, TX

Common Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause a range of symptoms that can leave you feeling constant discomfort. Though it may start as manageable pain, the longer you let the symptoms persist, the more intense they can become. For this reason, it’s important to see a doctor if you injure your ankle or if you notice any unusual pain in the area. A medical professional will be able to determine the cause of your discomfort and provide the appropriate treatment. Some of the most common symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tingling or burning in the ankle and foot
  • Numbness in the area
  • Pain, including shooting pain in the foot
  • A sensation similar to an electric shock

What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by any issue that produces compression of the posterior tibial nerve. The added pressure on this nerve is what causes the pain and discomfort associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Compression of the posterior tibial nerve can be caused by:

  • Flat Feet: If you have flat feet, you are at higher risk for developing tarsal tunnel syndrome. The outward tilting of the heel that occurs in those with flat feet or fallen arches can produce additional strain and compression on the posterior tibial nerve.
  • Abnormal or Enlarged Structures: It is not uncommon for an abnormal or enlarged structure to take over the space within the tarsal tunnel, putting pressure on the nerve. This may occur with varicose veins, ganglion cysts, swollen tendons, or arthritic bone spurs.
  • Injuries: Foot and ankle injuries, like sprains, can create inflammation and swelling in the tendons of the tarsal tunnel. This puts pressure on the nerve and can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Systemic Diseases: Certain diseases, like diabetes or arthritis, can cause swelling of the feet and ankles. This swelling can compress the nerve and lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Non-Invasive Treatment Options

In most cases, tarsal tunnel syndrome can be addressed with non-invasive treatments. Our doctors in Sugar Land, TX will be able to determine which treatments will work best for your unique situation. If non-invasive options are not successful in treating or managing your pain, you may need to undergo tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. However, we will first attempt to treat the condition with all the non-invasive options, as surgery is always a last resort. Some of the non-invasive treatment options that can successfully address the discomfort caused by tarsal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Resting and staying off the affected foot
  • Casting with a walking boot
  • Wrapping of the area
  • Compression hose
  • Corticosteroid and anesthetic injections
  • Orthotics
  • Manipulation or physical therapy
  • Strengthening of the tibialis anterior
wet feet

Diagnosis of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

To properly diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome, you will need to see a foot and ankle specialist in Sugar Land, TX. Our doctors will examine your foot and determine if there is any loss of feeling in the area and look for signs that a mass is present. In some cases, a physical examination is enough to make a diagnosis. However, the doctor may also order the completion of nerve studies or imaging like an EMG, NCV, or MRI. These images will give the specialist a clear picture of the affected area, allowing them to make an accurate diagnosis.

Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment

If you have been experiencing frequent pain in your feet or ankles, have recently suffered an injury to this area, or are concerned you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, it’s time to call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists. Your health and comfort are not something you want to ignore, which is why it’s essential that you call us at the first sign of a problem. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

We Provide Care by Expert Doctors

At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists, we have a team of expert doctors to provide you with the care you need. We have served patients in Sugar Land, TX and throughout the greater Houston area for many years. Using state-of-the-art technology, we can examine, diagnose, and treat chronic and acute conditions involving the feet and ankles. You can count on our medical team to provide personalized care tailored to your unique needs and conditions.

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