- The tarsal tunnel is the area between a fibrous band called the flexor retinaculum and the inside ankle bone called the medial malleolus.
- The most important structure and the one that causes symptoms is the posterior tibial nerve.
What Does it Do?
- Protects the structures that run in the tunnel – nerves, tendons, arteries, and veins.
How Does it Happen?
Excessive compression on the posterior tibial nerve via:
- Anatomical variations
- Bone spur
- Inflamed tendon
- Ganglion cyst
- Varicose vein
- Excessive pronation (flat feet)
- Overuse of ankle/foot
- Sudden increase in activity level
- Systemic diseases that cause inflammation
- Injury to ankle/foot that causes swelling – could be a simple as an ankle sprain
- Pain, numbness, tingling, and/or burning at the inside of the ankle. Some people also complain of an “electric shock” feeling.
- Symptoms can travel along the nerve pathway, so you can get symptoms in calf, ankle, foot, and/or toes.
- Symptoms can appear gradually over time, or can appear suddenly.
- One may also experience symptoms at night.
- Possible limp because of pain