Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)

Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) has a number of treatment methods. First, slow down with exercising and find an exercise that does not aggravate the pain or numbness in your foot (swimming is usually a good option, and even aqua jogging if you have a hard time restraining yourself from running). Your podiatrist will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin) to reduce the inflammation and alleviate your heel pain. Cortisoid injections might be helpful for some conditions. Key to treatment, however, will be making sure that your arch is supported, as rigid arch supports have been shown to help those with TTS. Over the counter and custom orthotics can help relieve symptoms, and making sure your everyday and athletic footwear are the right size for you, supportive of your foot, and not too worn out will be key in tackling the problem long term. Working with a physical therapist will help you find stretches and massage techniques to lessen the compression causing your TTS.

If no other treatment strategies help, your podiatrist may suggest a surgery called “tarsal tunnel release.” This surgery will decrease pressure on the posterior tibial nerve by releasing the lacinate ligament, an exploration of the tarsal canal and decompression of the posterior tibial nerve. Note that surgery requires a recovery period of three to eighteen months depending on the procedure, so it is important that you work dedicatedly with your podiatrist on other treatment methods for some time before you and your doctor decide that surgery is the best option for you.