Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Pain on the inside of the ankle or bottom of the foot could be caused by tarsal tunnel syndrome. The pain associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome is typically a burning or shooting pain. It may also cause numbness or a tingling sensation.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to the more widely known carpal tunnel syndrome that affects the hands and wrists. The tarsal tunnel is located on the inside of the ankle. The nerves to the foot run through the tarsal tunnel. When these nerves are compressed, tarsal tunnel syndrome can develop. Tendons, arteries, and veins are also contained in the tarsal tunnel.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can have a sudden onset. It may be caused by overuse, such as extended periods of walking or standing. It may also be triggered by vigorous exercise. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be aggravated by the beginning of a new exercise routine.
Individuals with an outward tilt to their stance are more susceptible to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, those with fallen arches are more at risk for this disorder. Tarsal tunnel syndrome may also be caused by pressure exerted on the nerves in the tarsal tunnel. Cysts, varicose veins, arthritic spurs, or a swollen tendon can compromise the space of the tarsal tunnel.
An injury can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. If an injury, such as an ankle sprain, causes swelling, the swelling could compress the nerves of the tarsal tunnel. Other diseases that can cause swelling, such as diabetes, can cause tarsal tunnel syndrome in the same manner. Being overweight can increase a person’s risk of developing the disorder.
Because the foot pain could have other causes, a physician must diagnose the condition. Early diagnosis and treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome is highly recommended. If left untreated, tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve damage.