Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome develops when an injury or an existing condition causes compression of the tibial nerve. These tibial nerves run through the tarsal tunnel, a collection of bones and ligaments that spans across the foot. If a tibial nerve is damaged, it can cause severe ankle pain for the individual, as well as limit their ability to complete certain tasks. 

Luckily, tarsal tunnel syndrome has a variety of treatment options available; from conservative methods to surgical options for more severe cases. The dedicated healthcare professionals at BEST Health System will work with you to decide what treatment option fits in with your lifestyle. 

If you believe you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome or a condition related to it, we encourage you to use this guide to see what your next step should be.


If you have not experienced any of these conditions but believe you may have developed tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is important to consult with your doctor and endure the proper diagnostic procedures before considering treatment. Foot and ankle pain can have a variety of causes, each requiring a different treatment plan. 

During the diagnostic process, a doctor will begin with a physical examination of the foot to check for range of motion. Next, the doctor will suggest the patient undergo an imaging procedure, such as an MRI, to solidify if tarsal tunnel syndrome is the source of the pain. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can develop anytime the posterior tibial nerve is compressed. This condition is often caused by the following:

  • Low-arched feet or flat feet: Individuals with flat feet are more susceptible to developing a condition like tarsal tunnel syndrome because the low-arches increase strain and compression on the nerve. 
  • Ankle sprains: An ankle sprain inflames the area surrounding the tunnel, resulting in compression of the nerve. 
  • Arthritis: When arthritis flares up, it can lead to swelling, allowing the nerve to compress and cause pain. 


If you have been diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome, there are plenty of treatment options available for different patients. A doctor will first encourage patients to try out a conservative treatment option. This includes:

  • Over-the-counter pain anti-inflammatory medicine and icing
  • A foot brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory injections

If conservative treatment methods have been exhausted and the patient feels no relief, they may be a candidate for surgical treatment. One option is called tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery, a procedure in which the surgeon will cut soft tissue in the ankle to remove pressure on the tibial nerve. Often, tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery will allow for an outpatient procedure.


For some individuals, tarsal tunnel syndrome results in lots of pain, preventing them from everyday activities and making simple tasks seem impossible. Sometimes, this condition may go undetected if an individual does not put Most commonly, individuals suffering from tarsal tunnel syndrome will experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Inability to perform basic tasks at home or work

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, our team at BEST Health System is committed to finding you the most effective, least invasive treatment option. 

Reach out to BEST Health System

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, it does not have to stay that way forever. Contact our team of specialists at BEST Health System and get started on your path to recovery.

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