Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a fairly common source of heel pain—and unfortunately, it is misdiagnosed far too often. Because the symptoms can be broadly similar to other causes of heel pain (especially plantar fasciitis), it can be easily mistaken.
Some of the treatments for this condition broadly overlap with plantar fasciitis, but not all. Because tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve damage if unaddressed for too long, it’s extremely important that you get a correct diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome can include:
Rest. Stay off your feet as much as possible, and avoid high-impact activities that cause pain or discomfort.
Immobilization. Also known as “seriously, rest.” In severe cases, it may be necessary for us to place your foot and ankle in a cast or brace to protect it and keep it from moving.
Splinting. Wearing splints at night can relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce the pain and tingling you experience the next morning.
Medication. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we may recommend over-the-counter painkillers, prescription-strength oral steroids, steroid injections, and the like.
Physical therapy. Certain stretches and exercises may be recommended that can help you manage your symptoms and strengthen connective tissues (which helps prevent further damage).
Custom orthotics. In many cases, tarsal tunnel syndrome may be caused by biomechanical problems like excessive pronation or fallen arches. Custom orthotics help keep your feet in the correct position, which relieves pressure on the nerve.
Managing underlying conditions. Tarsal tunnel syndrome may be a secondary complication of an underlying, system-wide problems: diabetes, poor nutrition, etc. Addressing the underlying problems will help you with your tarsal tunnel pain, too.
Surgery. Sometimes, conservative options just aren’t enough. For the most serious cases, we can perform a surgical procedure to decompress a nerve or remove a blockage, such as a spur, cyst, or varicose vein.
At Gulf South Foot & Ankle, we help patients just like you overcome painful conditions and injuries like tarsal tunnel syndrome every day. Take your first steps toward recovery by giving us a call at one of our two convenient offices today!
Metairie: (504) 708-4810
Covington (985) 809-1464