Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Published on : February 2, 2021

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is compression or squeezing on the posterior tibial nerve at the inner aspect of the ankle. This painful condition is often due to injury or inflammation. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel refers to the compression of a nerve in a confined space.

The tarsal tunnel is an area created by the very strong, laciniate ligament that covers a bony canal through which pass some of the major nerve, artery, vein, and tendons of the foot. Individuals who suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome exhibit symptoms that include tingling, burning sensations, numbness, and shooting pain.

These symptoms occur most often at rest or just before sleeping at night.


Tarsal tunnel syndrome may be caused by:

  • An injury such as a fracture, ankle sprain, or contusion
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Masses pressing on the nerve
  • Strenuous athletic activity
  • Varicose veins that press on the nerve
  • Abnormally large nerves which result in the compression against the ligament that covers the tarsal tunnel
  • Continuous, multiple traumas that stretch the nerve
  • Compensating for other leg or foot problems such as short leg syndrome, hip and knee abnormalities, or heel pain


Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) may include:

  • Shooting pain in the foot
  •  Numbness
  • Tingling or burning sensation

Possible treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections into the nerves in the tarsal tunnel to relieve pressure and swelling.

Orthosis (e.g., braces, splints, orthotic devices) may be recommended to reduce pressure on the foot and limit movement that could cause compression on the nerve.

The team at Foot & Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania is available at 5 Convenient locations to take care of your foot and ankle needs. Call one of our offices today!!