Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the nerves that lie inside the tarsal tunnel. This pressure on the nerves causes pain or numbness in the ankle, bottom of the foot, or along the calf. It may also cause a burning or tingling sensation. The tarsal tunnel syndrome could be caused by overuse, injury, or a disease that has caused swelling of the ankle.

If left untreated, permanent nerve damage can occur. A physician must diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome since the pain could have many different causes. The doctor is likely to manipulate and press on the foot to determine the source of the pain. If the doctor suspects that a mass may be causing the pain, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan might be used to rule out the presence of a mass.

Once diagnosed, the physician will discuss treatment options. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to help with pain and inflammation. The doctor may suggest rest and the use of ice packs on the affected area. Treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome is focused on alleviating pressure on the foot and ankle to give the injury a chance to heal.

Supportive shoes may be recommended by the physician. Custom shoe inserts that support the arch and restrict movement may be prescribed. Patients with fallen arches or severe cases of tarsal tunnel syndrome may have to wear a fitted brace. Sometimes a cast is used to restrict movement to allow healing of the nerve and surrounding tissue.

An injection of an anesthetic may be administered for pain relief. If less invasive methods of treatment fail to provide relief or if the cause of the tarsal tunnel warrants it, surgery may be recommended. A foot and ankle surgeon will do an exam and determine the best surgical procedure.


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