Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

Posted by Raleigh on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010717)

OK, time for moronic question #10... What IS this? In the past, I have had PF in the heel/arch area of my foot. Went through the stretching, icing, PT, orthotics, etc. to a good deal of success. :)Now I have a different sort of pain. I now have a sharp searing pain in the pads under the smallest and second smallest toe. Acupunture, magnets, etc. have helped the muscles and tendons in my toes and across the top of my foot; but YOW, the pain around that area and up the side of my foot! I can feel some sort of inflamed tendon or something along the bottom of the foot by the toes. Xrays revealed nothing, PT and orthotics didn't help. Anybody have any ideas? Is this tarsal tunnel?

Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

JaneK on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010719)

Raleigh, could this be a neuroma? Do you have a Morton's toe(second toe longer than big toe?) Or possibly your shoes are a bit too narrow. I have a lump under my 2nd metatarsl that causes pain and numbness if I wear a shoe that is the least bit tight. Nothing ever shows on xray....so I just have to get shoes that are plenty wide, and this is on my 'good foot'!!!!

Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

john on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010724)

does not sound like tarsal tunnel to me. i had a tarsal tunnel 2 weeks ago. one of the tools of diagnosing tarsal tunnel is the nerve conduction test which i had. test indicated 'mild' tarsal tarsal tunnel impingment. my surgeon said that 'mild' was a subjective term and only way to know was to actually visually see the trapped nerve. i was having a PF release (open procedure) and elected to do the tarsal tunnel procedure at same time as you use the same incision (only longer) as for the pf release. i do not think there was an impinged nerve and will ask doctor at my next appointment. tarsal tunnel impingment is sort of rare (opinion). the scar for the tarsal tunnel and pf release is approximately 6' long. runs from inside ankle above ankle bone to just under the foot. looks like a shark bite. the nurse said that will bother more when i start walking than the pf release (yuk)!start weight bearing next monday with no boot or cast. will advise what kind of pain i encounter at that time.

Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

wendy2 on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010739)

(This is my understanding) TTS is an entrapment of the nerve(s) that runs along the inside of your leg, behind your ankle and into your foot. There are 3 main nerves, one that supplies your heel, one that supplies the bottom of your foot, and one that supplies your baby toe area and the outside of your foot. I have compression of these last two - and apparently this is why I can have pain in differnt spots on my feet at any given time. I always have pain in the Tarsal tunnel area (inside of foot, just behind and below the ankle). Unlike PF, it is not worse in the a.m. but gets worse with activity and standing, standing is the worst for me. Since I have had both PF and now TTS - I feel qualified to say that they do not feel the same. With TTS, (for me) it is more of a searing, intense pain - quite often though it can feel as though someone took a baseball bat to my feet. My one foot is permanently numb in some spots, and I often get tingling and sensations of something moving along the nerve when there's nothing there. When I had PF it was more of a ripping feeling that was noticeably worse in the a.m. or after sitting for a while.

TTS will not show up on bone scans or xrays. There is a test some doctors (or you) can try, if you tap the Tarsal tunnel area quite firmly and you have TTS - it will send shooting pains into your foot, reproducing the symptoms. Although I've tested positve now for TTS - only one doctor was able to do this succesfully - I think you have to hit the exact spot. Nerve conduction tests can be done to confirm diagnosis, but I've read and been told that they are not that reliable when it comes to TTS - much more so for carpal tunnel syndrome. Bring it up to your doctor (many doctors are not real familiar with TTS) and hopefully he/she can help determine if this is a possible diagnosis for you.

Good luck!!!


Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

JaneK on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010719)

Raleigh, could this be a neuroma? Do you have a Morton's toe(second toe longer than big toe?) Or possibly your shoes are a bit too narrow. I have a lump under my 2nd metatarsl that causes pain and numbness if I wear a shoe that is the least bit tight. Nothing ever shows on xray....so I just have to get shoes that are plenty wide, and this is on my 'good foot'!!!!

Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

john on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010724)

does not sound like tarsal tunnel to me. i had a tarsal tunnel 2 weeks ago. one of the tools of diagnosing tarsal tunnel is the nerve conduction test which i had. test indicated 'mild' tarsal tarsal tunnel impingment. my surgeon said that 'mild' was a subjective term and only way to know was to actually visually see the trapped nerve. i was having a PF release (open procedure) and elected to do the tarsal tunnel procedure at same time as you use the same incision (only longer) as for the pf release. i do not think there was an impinged nerve and will ask doctor at my next appointment. tarsal tunnel impingment is sort of rare (opinion). the scar for the tarsal tunnel and pf release is approximately 6' long. runs from inside ankle above ankle bone to just under the foot. looks like a shark bite. the nurse said that will bother more when i start walking than the pf release (yuk)!start weight bearing next monday with no boot or cast. will advise what kind of pain i encounter at that time.

Re: PF or Tarsal Tunnel?? How do you know? What is this?

wendy2 on 9/07/99 at 00:00 (010739)

(This is my understanding) TTS is an entrapment of the nerve(s) that runs along the inside of your leg, behind your ankle and into your foot. There are 3 main nerves, one that supplies your heel, one that supplies the bottom of your foot, and one that supplies your baby toe area and the outside of your foot. I have compression of these last two - and apparently this is why I can have pain in differnt spots on my feet at any given time. I always have pain in the Tarsal tunnel area (inside of foot, just behind and below the ankle). Unlike PF, it is not worse in the a.m. but gets worse with activity and standing, standing is the worst for me. Since I have had both PF and now TTS - I feel qualified to say that they do not feel the same. With TTS, (for me) it is more of a searing, intense pain - quite often though it can feel as though someone took a baseball bat to my feet. My one foot is permanently numb in some spots, and I often get tingling and sensations of something moving along the nerve when there's nothing there. When I had PF it was more of a ripping feeling that was noticeably worse in the a.m. or after sitting for a while.

TTS will not show up on bone scans or xrays. There is a test some doctors (or you) can try, if you tap the Tarsal tunnel area quite firmly and you have TTS - it will send shooting pains into your foot, reproducing the symptoms. Although I've tested positve now for TTS - only one doctor was able to do this succesfully - I think you have to hit the exact spot. Nerve conduction tests can be done to confirm diagnosis, but I've read and been told that they are not that reliable when it comes to TTS - much more so for carpal tunnel syndrome. Bring it up to your doctor (many doctors are not real familiar with TTS) and hopefully he/she can help determine if this is a possible diagnosis for you.

Good luck!!!