Understanding Tarsal Tunnel

The tarsal tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the ankle bump (medial malleolus). Several nerves, arteries, and muscles travel through this gateway. Within the tunnel, three nerve segments emerge. The calcaneal nerve stretches to the heel, while the medial and lateral plantar nerves travel to the bottom of the foot.

Doctor with a fake foot bone structure talking to a patient

What is Tarsal Tunnel Release?

Tarsal tunnel release surgery is designed to relieve pressure on the affected nerve by releasing some of the inflamed tissue and relieving compression on it. During surgery, an incision is made along one side of the ankle and through layers of tissue until the affected nerve appears. If there is any scarring or other material blocking its path, it will be carefully removed before stitching up and closing.

What Causes Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is not always clear. It can be caused by a cyst or tumor in the area, an injury or trauma to the foot, tendons that have become pinched from swelling due to arthritis, or overuse of the foot joints due to standing for long periods of time. The condition causes intense pain, numbness, and tingling in parts of the foot and lower leg.

Testing for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms may be like those of other ailments. To properly diagnose TTS, our doctors may first ask you to describe your symptoms and examine your ankle for any injuries or signs of damage. The Tinel test involves the healthcare provider gently tapping on the tibial nerve; if this produces pain or tingling similar to the patient’s own symptoms, it can point toward TTS.

An EMG measures nerve and muscle function through an electrical impulse, whereas an MRI generates detailed images of soft tissues and bones using magnets and radio waves; this can help determine if there is any pressure being put on the tibial nerve from a mass.

In addition, they may also use tests such as a

  • Tinel’s test
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • MRI scan
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How Effective is Tarsal Tunnel Release?

This procedure has proven successful in treating many cases of tarsal tunnel syndrome in Denver with positive results being verified as soon as three months after surgery. For this procedure to be successful, however, certain precautions should be taken post-operatively, such as avoiding activities that strain your feet and using a splint at night to minimize pressure on your opened wound.

What is the Goal of Tarsal Tunnel Release?

Tarsal tunnel release is a surgical procedure that is done to reduce pressure on the tibial nerve and other nerves located in the tarsal tunnel. It involves cutting, releasing, or resecting structures such as ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue that are pressing against the nerve. The main goal of this surgery is to relieve pain and numbness caused by compression of the nerve.

What is the Recovery for Tarsal Tunnel Release?

The recovery time for tarsal tunnel release depends on the size of the area involved and how much scar tissue formed during the healing process. After surgery, most patients have some initial swelling and bruising at the site of the incision. Ice packs may be applied if needed to reduce swelling. Some people might require a cast or splint for up to 4 weeks after surgery to immobilize their foot so it can heal properly. Walking can typically begin within 3-4 days after surgery, but it may take around 6 weeks for full recovery from this procedure.

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What can help with My Recovery from Tarsal Tunnel Release?

Pain relief medications can also help during recovery but should never be taken without consulting with a doctor first. Physical therapy may also be necessary to regain range of motion and strength in your foot muscles as well as improve walking mechanics after surgery. During this time, you should wear comfortable shoes with good arch support which don’t put pressure on your feet while you heal. Following your doctor's instructions for self-care will ensure optimal healing and a successful outcome from your surgery for tarsal tunnel release in Denver.

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Why Choose The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care?

The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care is here to provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapeutics for nerve-related conditions. We offer a range of surgical and non-surgical solutions that can help relieve nerve pain and dysfunction while keeping our focus firmly on the technical side of things. Our goal is for patients to achieve a lasting, beautiful outcome through thoughtful, meticulously performed surgery.

Unfortunately, many providers are unable to test these symptoms, so they don't understand their true significance – but with a carefully crafted treatment plan, it's possible to reduce or relieve pain and dysfunction. So, if you're tired of passing between doctors without finding an effective treatment plan, come see us – we understand how important it is to lead a life without pain.

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