Tarsal Tunnel Release

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the abnormal compression (pinching) of the posterior tibial nerve in the foot as it travels within the tarsal tunnel. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow area located on the side of the ankle where arteries, veins, nerves and tendons travel. The tunnel covered by a thick ligament. When the nerve is pinched in the tarsal tunnel, it can produce tingling/burning/shooting pains or numbness of certain areas of the foot. This is condition is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a myriad of different factors, all which lead to compression of the posterior tibial nerve. This includes, varicose veins, chronic swelling, bone spurs, cysts, and flat feet.


More About Tarsal Tunnel Release

Surgery involves freeing up the nerve in the area of the tarsal tunnel so it is no longer pinched/compressed. This is called decompression. This is done by releasing (cutting) the thick ligament that surrounds the nerve.  

Dr. Matthew Turanovic is trained in the most up to date and advanced surgical techniques and protocols for foot and ankle surgery - without the need for casts and crutches. See the about me for more information about your surgeon. 

A thorough consultation, history, examination, and understanding of patient goals are required to determine which surgical procedure is appropriate for the bone spur. As such, information about the recovery period and return to activities and work will be discussed at time of consultation.  

Operating time is dependent on the cause of the entrapment, ranging from 30 minutes to one hour. Surgery is done with regional anesthesia and optional oral sedation. This means the nerves of the foot are numbed with local anesthetic so no pain is felt during the procedure. Oral medication is given to reduce anxiety, promote a calming effect, and sometimes a relaxing nap. This allows for a quicker, more comfortable recovery after surgery and poses significantly fewer risks and complications compared with general anesthesia.  

Detailed care instructions will be given and pain control medicine will be prescribed after surgery.  You will have direct contact with the surgical team should questions or concerns arise when you leave the office.

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