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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome


Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a pinching of the tibial nerve, which stretches down the back of the leg to the inner ankle. In this area of the ankle, a complex mix of nerves, muscles, and ligaments meet; this makes the tibial nerve prone to entrapment, or pinching.

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include foot pain and weakness as well as numbness and tingling in the sole or arch of the foot.

A nerve might get pinched as a result of:

  • An injury to the ankle.
  • Rolling the foot inward when walking or running (pronation).
  • A tissue mass or cyst.
  • An area of inflammation in or around a tendon (tenosynovitis).

At first, treatment may include rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and supportive footwear, such as arch supports, custom orthotics, and support shoes. If this early treatment does not help relieve symptoms, surgery may be needed.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerBarry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Last RevisedJuly 13, 2011

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