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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is pressure on a nerve along the back of your lower leg, which can cause pain from the inside of the ankle to the foot. You're at higher risk of this condition if you have flat feet, a foot injury, diabetes, arthritis, or other foot problems. To get relief, visit a podiatrist with EvergreenHealth Foot and Ankle Care.

Symptoms

You may feel any of these symptoms, which usually happen on the inside of your ankle or bottom of the foot:

  • Numbness
  • Shooting pain
  • Tingling or burning

Sometimes, the pain of tarsal tunnel syndrome extends to your toes or calf. It might start with a new type of exercise and worsen the longer you use your foot, even when just standing or walking.

Diagnosis

Your EvergreenHealth doctor will move and tap your foot to see if it triggers your symptoms. You might need an imaging test to look for a mass or lump. Your doctor may also order electromyography to check your muscles' electrical activity, as well as a nerve conduction velocity test to see how fast the nerves send signals.

Treatments

Seek treatment early to prevent tarsal tunnel syndrome from getting worse. Your doctor will likely start with conservative, nonsurgical approaches, such as:

  • Resting and keeping weight off the foot that hurts
  • Applying an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to your foot for 20 minutes a few times a day
  • Wearing supportive shoes and shoe inserts that limit painful movements
  • Taking ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications
  • Wearing a cast to keep the nerve and surrounding tissue still so they can heal
  • Physical therapy, including gentle exercises and pain-relieving ultrasound therapy
  • Injections of a local anesthetic or a steroid to reduce pain or inflammation
  • Using a brace if you have flat feet or severe symptoms

Surgery for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

If surgery is your best treatment option, your EvergreenHealth surgeon will recommend the best outpatient procedure for your specific situation. To make your experience go smoothly, learn how to prepare for foot and ankle surgery.

Make An Appointment

Call (425) 899-4650 in Kirkland or (360) 794-3300 in Monroe to make an appointment with one of our Foot & Ankle Care specialists.

One-Stop Shop

Get all of your orthopedic care in one place—EvergreenHealth's Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute in Kirkland. Our comprehensive team of experts collaborate in orthopedics, sports medicine, physiatry, neurology, physical therapy, pain management and more.

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