What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in the foot that is result of abnormal pressure on a nerve. This painful condition is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which is experienced in the wrists. Tarsal tunnel syndrome isn’t as common as carpal tunnel syndrome, which sometimes makes it difficult to diagnose. The tarsal tunnel is located in the bottom portion of the inside of the ankle and runs through the bottom of the foot. Inside this tunnel, a series of nerves, an artery, and tendons pass through. Inflammation within this region causes nerve compression which results in pain and discomfort.

What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • In most cases of tarsal tunnel syndrome, the cause of inflammation is unknown.
  • Inflammation in the tunnel can be caused by other medical problems such as diabetes, varicose veins and tumors.

How Do I Know If I Have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • A burning or tingling sensation that is considered uncomfortable or painful in the sole of your foot.
  • Activity increases symptoms. Long periods of standing, walking, or running increase pain.
  • Numbness and weakness in bottom of foot.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • A board-certified podiatrist will conduct a thorough physical exam paying special attention to the patient’s reaction when stimulating the sole of the foot.
  • If further testing is required, your physician may order a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test to see how fast the nerve impulses are travelling through the foot, across the ankle, and into the leg.

How is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?

  • Treatment options vary from non-invasive to surgical.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to assist in alleviating the pressure surrounding the nerve.
  • For cases that do not subside with conservative methods, surgery may be required.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Release is the name of the surgery performed to alleviate the pressure surrounding the tarsal tunnel.
  • Physical therapy is often required following surgery.


Do You Suspect You May Have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome? Contact Dr. Gabriel Maislos, a top-rated Houston Podiatrist, to Schedule an Exam.

For more information about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and available treatment options, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our office is located in Houston, and we can be reached at (713) 541-3199. We look forward to hearing from you. We hope to hear from you soon.


Houston Foot and Ankle