22 Jul Treatment Options for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a highly painful nerve disorder in which the posterior tibial nerve, traveling through the tarsal tunnel, is compressed.
The tarsal tunnel is situated between the medial malleolus (the bump inside the ankle) and the flexor retinaculum (a collection of ligaments along the foot). The compression of the tibial nerve causes pain in the ankle, toes, and feet of the patient.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is also referred to as posterior tibial neuralgia.
Among the many causes of this syndrome include:
- The shape of the foot. Having either Pes Plano valgus foot type (flat feet) or fallen arches can lead to pressure application on the tibial nerve.
- Injuries found around or on the inner feet. An ankle sprain can cause swelling around the inner foot, consequently compressing the tibial nerve over the tarsal canal.
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis could lead to swelling in the joints, therefore increasing the chances of nerve compression.
Signs and Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- A piercing pain in the foot when pressure is applied.
- Numbness of the foot
- A burning, tingling sensation experienced on and around the feet.
It is imperative to book an appointment with a podiatry physician for immediate and accurate diagnosis as you choose to understand the severity of your condition.
The diagnostic test will include:
- A thorough medical history, critical in tracing any potential cause of TTS.
- A complete physical exam involving electrical testing, such as nerve conduction study, and imaging (X- Rays or MRI scans).
Treatment Options for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
Depending on the level of severity of this condition, treatment can be administered in any of these two ways:
- Nonsurgical treatment
This non-intrusive form of TTS treatment is prescribed before recommending surgery. This non-invasive form of treatment provides options such as prescription of anti-inflammatory medications to cut down on swelling in the canal.
Another example could be judiciously administering steroid injections to the nerves housed within the tarsal tunnel. This action relieves pressure due to swelling in the canal.
Assistive devices such as braces and other orthotic devices can work together with the two previous treatment options in reducing soft-tissue edema and pressure within the tarsal canal. Orthosis will also limit movement of the injured foot that would otherwise lead to compression of the tibial nerve.
Overall weight loss should also be considered during TTS treatment. Change of lifestyle habits and embracing weight-loss regimes will lead to a significant drop in body weight, and hence, reduction in pressure applied to the foot.
- Surgical treatment
If the Arizona podiatrist concludes that nonsurgical treatment options are ineffective, surgical options may be undertaken. Among these surgical procedures include the tarsal tunnel release.
Tarsal tunnel release is a surgical procedure where ligaments around and along the paths taken by the tibial, medial and lateral plantar nerves are released. The calcaneal tunnel is also released during this process.
An incision is placed along the foot, from behind the ankle to the base (arch) of the foot to gain access to the concerned nerves and ligaments.
Post-operative bleeding and infection are common complications regarding this surgery. Other minor complications may include small sensory nerve or main nerve injuries.
Preventing Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
The goal is to eliminate excess pressure on the foot region. Steps taken might include, among others:
- Wearing properly fitted shoes.
- Resting frequently by keeping off of your feet to stimulate healing.
- Elevation of the feet to relieve pressure and improve blood circulation.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a manageable condition provided adequate steps are taken from diagnosis to final treatment. Visit Oasis Foot and Ankle, the top podiatrists in Scottsdale and Phoenix, today. Most insurance is accepted and appointments are readily available!