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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Do your feet burn or tingle? Do your feet feel like they have fallen asleep?

If you answer yes to either or both of these questions, you may have a condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome. This syndrome can occur in one foot or both feet and is similar to the common carpel tunnel syndrome in the hand. Patients often complain of tingling or burning in the foot or feet with electrical-like sensations shooting out to the toes or up the leg. In many cases, the condition is aggravated by prolonged standing or walking and wearing shoes that are not supportive. Varicose veins and swelling in the ankles can also exacerbate the problem.

tibial-nerveTo understand the cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome, one must first have an understanding of some basic anatomy. The tibial nerve is the large nerve that supplies the muscles and the skin on the bottom of the foot. The nerve runs down the inner portion of the lower leg, behind the inside of the ankle and dives deep into the muscles on the plantar surface (bottom) of the foot. At the area behind the ankle, the nerve lies under a broad ligament that can impinge the nerve. The nerve then undergoes an inflammatory process and can enlarge, further impinging the nerve in the small area it occupies under the ligament. Eventually, the nerve fails to transmit impulses to the muscles and relay sensory information properly. This may result in pain, numbness and tingling or burning sensations.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment is helpful in alleviating symptoms. The podiatrist should perform a complete examination of the feet and obtain X-rays and possibly other diagnostic tests to ensure that symptoms are not caused by other illnesses or inflammatory conditions. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment should be initiated and may consist of serial steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, orthotics (custom made shoe inserts) and physical therapy modalities.

In some cases the inflammation around the nerve does not decrease with conservative treatment and a minor surgical procedure must be performed. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis allowing the patient to return home the same day. After a brief period of recovery, the patient may return to activities.

The pain created from tarsal tunnel syndrome can be quite disabling and may interfere with occupational performance or recreational activities. The prognosis for successful treatment is directly related to how early the problem is recognized and treatment is initiated.

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Kim Johnston

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Kim Johnston

Isabel O’Brien

He's all fixed up thanks to your patience, sympathy and skill, Dr. Bachmann.

Isabel O'Brien

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Deanna Muehlenbrock

Dr. Walsh has been phenomenal! She had an awesome bedside manner with me as well as my children. Always talking them through every step of the way. You know you have found a lifelong doctor when you entrust your children's care to them. I have recommended Dr. Walsh to many of many friends and all have loved her.

Deanna Muehlenbrock

Pierre B.

After having a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis, we tried all procedures and treatments to reduce pain and inflammation.  Nothing worked.  I was told by Dr. Bachmann of a new procedure, a laser treatment (MLS) that was new but very effective.  I tried it and after treatment #1 I already felt an improvement.  I'm on treatment 9 of 10 and can honestly say it has relieved the pain and constant irritation I was experiencing for the past 9 months.  I would recommend this treatment and the excellent service of Dr. Bachmann's team of health care professionals.

Pierre B.

Tina

Dr. Bachmann, You did a great job on both my toes. I am healing well on this last one. It feels good to mark it off my "to do" list. Now I can start my step aerobics class again. Thank you for taking good care of me.

Tina

Channin Henry

Thank you for everything! You are a Great Doctor!

Channin Henry

Jenny McLeod

I wanted to thank you for being so tender with Hallie yesterday.  She was eager to tell me that you thought she was "99.9% perfect."  Although her psoriasis/arthritis in no way defines her, I know she is aware of her health versus her three sisters.  You were the best part of her day and it meant the world to me.

Jenny McLeod

Meera Manahan

Dr. Bachmann, Thank you for fixing my foot, so I could go climb Kilimanjaro! My 2 girlfriends and I summitted on Christmas Eve. What a gift you gave me - thank you!

Meera Manahan

Sharon Dixon

Dr. Walsh, You always make me feel so much better.

Sharon Dixon

Marilyn Sparacino

You did a perfect job on my right foot.

Marilyn Sparacino

Madeline C

Thank you for taking care of my toe. I'll be flipping back into gymnastics in no time!

Madeline C

Casey B

After just 2 treatments with the MLS Laser for my ankle injury, I felt a significant decrease in pain and swelling.  I am very active in the gym so it was very important for me to heal quickly.  Each treatment is quick and painless as well which is a definite plus!  I would recommend this treatment to anyone in pain!

Casey B