Tarsal Tunnel Release

Tarsal Tunnel Release

Tarsal tunnel release is a procedure used to treat individuals with tarsal tunnel syndrome, a condition that can cause severe ankle pain for those affected. The tarsal tunnels are located on the inside of the ankles and allow blood vessels and nerves to travel down the leg into the foot. This condition occurs when an injury or an underlying condition causes compression of the tibial nerve. Tarsal tunnel releases the structures responsible for the compression and stops it from pressing against the tibial nerve. 

Before deciding whether surgery is the correct route, there are conservative treatment options available that can ease foot pain including bracing, anti-inflammatory injections, and physical therapy. If you have been diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome, you should consult with your doctor to see what treatment path is best for you. 

Considering Tarsal Tunnel Release

Most often, a doctor will only recommend surgery if conservative methods have been ineffective. However, if the condition is serious, it is possible your doctor may skip conservative efforts and jump to surgical options. When making a decision about whether surgery is the right option for you, there are a few things to first consider. 

  • The surgery will be completed while the patient is under anesthesia. This is to ensure they do not experience any pain during the surgery itself. While this is common for many surgical procedures, some individuals prefer to avoid anesthesia in general. 
  • Although minimal, there is a recovery time associated with tarsal tunnel release. The individual will be braced and is expected to leave the brace on for 1-2 weeks after surgery. Between 1-2 months, the patient can run and engage in other physical activities that depend on the feet. 

Although surgery of any kind can be daunting, BEST Health System focuses on finding the most effective, least invasive procedure. Patients that choose BEST will experience faster recovery times and can return to their favorite activities quicker. 


Before deciding if tarsal tunnel release is the right choice for you, it is important to know what to expect. This procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis. The patient will be under general anesthesia and the surgery typically takes around an hour. At BEST, this procedure requires a smaller incision, which will allow the surgeon to access the affected area. The surgeon will then identify the structure causing the compression and will divide it until it is released. As soon as the surgeon has successfully released the source of compression, they will close the incision with sutures.


After the surgery, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon to ensure a healthy recovery. This includes wearing the brace for 1-2 weeks after the procedure, staying inactive until instructed otherwise, and keeping the area dry. Your surgeon will also prescribe different medications to assist you during the recovery.

BEST Health System

While surgery is often a scary thought, BEST Health System offers patients access to surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive surgical procedures. This allows for faster recovery times, and, more importantly, getting back to the people and activities you love. If you are interested in learning more about the surgical options offered through BEST, contact our dedicated team today and get started on your path to recovery. 

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