Pain, tingling, numb spots, everything feeling worse the more you walk around—you don’t just notice nerve problems in your feet; all of your movements begin to be dictated by what does and doesn’t hurt. Even worse, nerve pain comes with the added risk of permanent damage. So when the nerves in your feet and ankles get pinched or pressed, like in tarsal tunnel, you know you can’t ignore the discomfort.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve—the large nerve that runs behind the inside bump of your ankle—becomes trapped and compressed. The pressure irritates the nerve and inflames the area. You usually feel the pain in the ankle, the sole of the foot, and occasionally radiating up the leg into the calf. Sometimes you experience spots of numbness or tingling as well. This condition is more than just uncomfortable; if pressure on the nerve isn’t relieved, the damage may be irreversible.
Tarsal tunnel doesn’t strike out of the blue. It usually develops from overuse. Extended periods of walking, standing, and exercising strain the ankle and could cause swelling, which then squeezes the tibial nerve. Anything, however, that leads to irritation in the ankle could trap it—ankle sprains, fallen arches, flatfeet, arthritis, and diabetes included. With proper care of your feet, you don’t have to deal with inflamed nerves and the pain that comes with them. Drs. David Laurino and Antonius Su are able to provide conservative treatments to relieve that pressure, reduce stress, and support your feet to eliminate your pain.
After the doctors at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona have established that tarsal tunnel is the specific cause of your pain, they are able to determine your best treatment options. Relieving the pressure on the nerve is the key. Often rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medications make a difference. Steroid injections may be needed for more intense pain. Sometimes adding support stabilizes the foot and relieves some stress on the ankle, so orthotics or braces may help. Conservative treatment is usually very effective in relieving symptoms, but some people find it doesn’t work. For serious and persistent cases, a surgical treatment, like a tarsal tunnel release, may be necessary.
Nerve damage is a painful issue with potentially serious consequences for your foot and ankle. Permanent nerve damage means on-going foot problems. If you are experiencing pain in your foot or ankle, it isn’t worth the risk to ignore it. The doctors at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona can help you return your feet to normal and keep you from developing worse pain in the future. Contact us for an appointment or more information by visiting the contact page on the website or by contacting one of their two conveniently located offices: (480) 963-9000, (480) 963-0375 (fax) for the office in Chandler or (480) 981-1800, (480) 981-0229 (fax) to reach us in Gilbert.