Tarsal Tunnel Injections
Tarsal tunnel injections are a treatment for tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, a condition characterized by chronic pain in the foot and ankle. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by abnormal compression on the tibial nerve, a branch of the sciatic nerve that supplies sensation to the foot. Although tarsal tunnel syndrome is not a serious condition, the pain it causes can be acute. Patients may also experience sensations of burning, cramping, tingling or numbness. Fortunately, tarsal tunnel injections can provide welcome relief from these symptoms.
Tarsal tunnel injections, which contain corticosteroids and a local anesthetic, are administered in the doctor's office. The medications are injected directly into the tarsal tunnel, as close to the aggravated nerve as possible. A topical anesthetic is normally used on the skin to reduce the discomfort of the injection itself. Tarsal tunnel injections are an effective remedy for tarsal tunnel syndrome.The local anesthetic produces immediate relief by numbing the affected area, while the corticosteroid provides effective long-term pain relief by reducing inflammation for an extended period.
Tarsal tunnel injections may provide weeks, or even months, of relief from discomfort due to tarsal tunnel syndrome. If they are successful in relieving pain, they may be repeated. Because such injections may have serious side effects, they should not be administered more often than every 5 weeks and usually not more than 3 or 4 times a year.