The Tarsal Tunnel is a region located on the inside portion of the ankle formed by a thickened tissue called the flexor retinaculum which encloses the contents of the tunnels artery, nerve and veins. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the compression of this tunnel. Today we identify this syndrome by its Four Sites of Compression:
1. The Tarsal Tunnel
2. The Calcaneal Tunnel
3. The Medial Plantar Tunnel
4. The Lateral Plantar Tunnel
Compression of this tunnel is not unlike Carpal Tunnel Syndrome where sensory loss or pain occurs. Loss of sensation to the bottom of the foot is a hallmark of this condition. The lack of sensation to the foot’s surface results in imbalance, gait alterations, ulcerations, infections and loss of limb. Common causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome are diabetes, trauma (sprains, fractures), enlarging masses in the tunnel (Lipomas, tumors, extra muscle tissue) alcoholism and gait abnormalities (pronation-flat feet).
Conservative treatment exists for this condition. When failure of conservative treatment is evident, surgical intervention is warranted.