The tarsal tunnel is a channel made of arteries, tendons, and nerves that runs through the ankle and along the bottom of the foot. When the tibial nerve (part of the tarsal tunnel) is damaged or strained due to pressure, it is called tarsal tunnel syndrome. The most common symptoms reported by patients with this syndrome include pain, burning, tingling, and loss of feeling in the ankle or foot. Any movement, condition, or accident that strains or injures the tibial nerve can lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome. Some common causes of this syndrome include arthritis, accidents that result in a sprained ankle, diabetes, varicose veins, flat feet, and abnormal growths in the foot. If the symptoms are believed to be caused by another disorder, doctors will look to treat the patient’s underlying disease while also treating the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome. The pain specialist will first recommend conservative treatment methods like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, or orthotic devices. Injection therapy for pain and nerve decompression surgery may be offered in more persistent cases.

X-ray of an ankle with arthritis
Ankle with arthritis, one of the causes of tarsal tunnel syndrome


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Pain Management Locations

To find a pain management specialist,
call 202-877-3627

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010 

MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre
1133 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20036

MedStar Health at Brandywine
13950 Brandywine Road
Suite 225
Brandywine, MD 20613