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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Tarsal tunnel

06/21/2007

Question:

I have a pain on my foot or heels. I was told that it`s tarsal tunnel. What is tarsal tunnel?

Answer:

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the tibial nerve at the level of the ankle. It is analagous to carpal tunnel syndrome which is compression of the median nerve at the wrist. The symptoms are typically numbness, tingling, and/or pain of the medial (inner) aspect of the foot. Occasionally intrinsic foot muscle atrophy (shrinking) may occur. Potential causes of the compression may be anatomic, injury, external compression, and others. Therapy may consist of stretching, splinting, steroid injections, or surgery. Typically, podiatrists and foot/ankle orthopaedic specialists provide consultation and treatment for this syndrome.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University