Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Typical causes are trauma-related injury to the tibial nerve; flat feet, which exert pressure on the nerve for an extended period; or pressure on the nerve from nearby structures such as cysts, enlarged blood vessels, or bone spurs. Damage to the nerve may destroy the myelin sheath that protects and insulates it or part of a nerve cell itself. This damage reduces or prevents the movement of electrical impulses through the nerve, which leads to numbness and loss of sensation/movement in the feet.
Other causes may include the following:
- A sprained ankle, which may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms if pressure from a ligament on the medial side (inside) of the ankle presses against the tibial nerve.
- Obesity, which can result in compression of the tibial nerve.
- Diseases that damage nerves, such as diabetes.
- Knee injuries that damage the tibial nerve.
- Unknown: sometimes symptoms appear for no apparent reason.