Tarsal tunnel syndrome:Braces and proper footwear
The exact cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) can vary from patient to patient. However the same end result is true for all patients, the compression of the posterior tibial nerve and it branches as it travels around the medial malleolus causes pain and irritation for the patient. There are many possible causes for compression of the tibial nerve therefore there are a variety of prevention strategies. One being immobilization, by placing the foot in a neutral position with a brace, pressure is relieved from the tibial nerve thus reducing patients pain. Eversion, inversion, and plantarflexion (as seen in figure 1) all can cause compression of the tibial nerve therefore in the neutral position the tibial nerve is less agitated. Typically this is recommended for the patient to do while sleeping(see figure 2). Another common problem is improper footwear, having shoes deforming the foot due to being too tight can lead to increased pressure on the tibial nerve. Having footwear that tightens the foot for extended periods of time even will lead to TTS. Therefore by simply having properly fitted shoes TTS can be prevented.