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Academic Research on TTS

Posted by Alexis C. on 6/03/04 at 15:44 (151915)

Hello everybody, my name is Alexis, I am a graduate student at Florida State University.

I am completing a project for a graduate class that focuses on Tarsal tunnel syndrome and the concerns of those who have this condition specifically with the types of socks that are available to them. The information collected could help to design new kinds of socks that are better suited to people with TTS and other foot problems.

Below is a short list of questions for those who are diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome. If you have the time to answer the following questions, your responses would be greatly appreciated and very helpful to us. Your responses will remain anonymous and will be used for the purpose of this study only.

Feel free to answer the questions in any format you want. Expanding on questions and ideas is encouraged; it will help us to better understand your needs. If you have any questions feel free to email me at: (email removed).

1. Is there a certain kind of sock available to you that you feel helps to relieve the discomfort of tarsal tunnel syndrome?

2. Do socks with arch supports/elastic foot supports help?

3. If you use ice packs or heating pads to help relieve pain would it be useful if you had a sock that could hold the pack in place?

4. If you could design a sock for someone with your condition what qualities would it have?

5. How useful are foot inserts for treating TTS? Would you recommend custom made orthotics?

Re: Academic Research on TTS

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/03/04 at 17:44 (151937)

Alexis:

About 25% of TTS is caused by varicosities in the tarsal tunnel. That particular subcategory of TTS patients are ehlped by hose. I generally would try a below knee compression hose in the 20 to 30 mm Hg compression range for most.

The relationhip between biomechanics and TTS is not clear. Many have suggested that overpronation (excess rolling in of the foot) can aggravate TTS. If true, an orthotic could help. It is important that the orthotic not have too high an arch -- the reason is we don't want to put pressure on the back part of the arch that contains the porta pedis which is where the branches of the post. tibial nerve enter the foot.
Ed

Re: Academic Research on TTS

marie on 6/03/04 at 19:08 (151942)

Hi Alexis,

I'm so glad to hear that someone is actually interested in collecting data on tts.

1. Is there a certain kind of sock available to you that you feel helps to relieve the discomfort of tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Over the counter compression socks that are just below the knee, Compression tights, and men's support socks have all been helpful for me.

2. Do socks with arch supports/elastic foot supports help?

Yes

3. If you use ice packs or heating pads to help relieve pain would it be useful if you had a sock that could hold the pack in place?

I suppose but it's have to be small enough that it wouldn't be a burden to walk around with.

4. If you could design a sock for someone with your condition what qualities would it have?

More colors! Arch support.

5. How useful are foot inserts for treating TTS? Would you recommend custom made orthotics?

I tried them but it didn't help. Birkenstocks worked for me!

Thanks marie

Re: Academic Research on TTS

Terri on 6/03/04 at 19:20 (151947)

Marie, hope you don't mind me riding your coattails here, just a couple of additions to your comments:
2&4: an arch support that looks like a sock, made of lighter material that breathes better.
5: most of us don't like our inserts, some got worse, some got better, most had no improvement (my opinion from reading everyone's posts here). I use only 1 for the foot that was operated on.

Re: Academic Research on TTS

Barbara S. on 6/03/04 at 20:11 (151958)

Hi Alexis

1. Compression socks never worked for me. When I tried them my foot
swelled up more.

2.I have never tried a sock with arch supports.

3. Yes I think a sock that could hold an ace pack or heating pad would be helpful. It is always hard to try and wrap them around your foot.

4. I can't answer this as I just use light weight socks that don't put to
much pressure on my foot.

5. I have custom made orthotics. They do help somewhat. I have had them adjusted a few times,but think I need them adjusted again. I can not walk
without some support. Around the house I use SAS Sandals.

Thanks Barbara S.

Re: Academic Research on TTS

Pam S. on 6/03/04 at 22:07 (151968)

HI Alexis:
l. Compression socks have helped me
Also, a brand of sock called Thorlo has helped. They have not support just alot of cushion as our feet tend to be quite sensitive and even shoes can cause pain sometimes

2. A sock with arch band type of support I have ordered does not work very well, although is sounded like a great idea. Taping works better

3. I think I prefer a very soft ice pack. I like to move it around because cold can get insense in one spot for too long

4. Alot of cushion, a firmer band that could lift the arch (like the arch sleeve I am currently using that is feeling pretty good

5. My experience has been that custom made orthodics are a disaster for people with TTS. It is very difficult to get orthodics right and if not you can end up alot worse. This is disappointing because one would think this would really help but it does not for alot of people with TTS.

Re: Academic Research on TTS

wendyn on 6/03/04 at 22:27 (151969)

1. When my feet were at their worst, I found that a thick, padded hiking sock helped.(It always felt like I didn't have enough padding on the bottoms of my feet)

2. I have used arch support bands, but I am not sure that they helped. Probably not.

3. I might consider using a sock with a spot for a small ice pack. I have been known to shove ice cubes into my socks while dining in fancy restaurants (I was in A LOT of pain).

4. I don't know - probably heavily padded on the bottom with something that helps support the arch (elastic?)

5. I think that if you have a structural problem contributing to the TTS, then custom orthotics are needed. Otherwise - I doubt it.

Re: Academic Research on TTS

wendyn on 6/03/04 at 22:28 (151970)

Pam - I have to agree with your comments about the orthotics. While I think they are necessary for some people, if they are made wrong - they can do more harm than good. Thanks for bringing that up!

Re: Academic Research on TTS

LARA on 6/05/04 at 12:51 (152096)

Although I'm a little uncomfortable adding anything to Dr. Ed, who certainly knows TTS better than I, I'm forging ahead anyway.

While I haven't heard statistics, my podiatrist (who treats several TTS a week) says that many cases of TTS are caused by varicose veins. She has also added, than many times they don't know it was varicose veins until if and when there is an autopsy or surgery. Varicose veins don't always show up on medical tests. My podiatrist things my TTS is probably varicose veins, I'm not as convinced because of family history, but it could be. I do know that compression socks have been magic for me - gave me a life back.

Regarding orthotics & TTS, I found that orthotics slowed the progression of the burning sensation, but it didn't reverse the progression of symptoms. Don't know if the orthotic was made to the specifications Dr. Ed gives above.

Re: Academic Research on TTS

LARA on 6/05/04 at 12:58 (152098)

1. COMPRESSION SOCKS. They gave me a life back. Not one with tennis, but a good life.

3. Probably not. My pain was on the bottom of my feet. If you can design a sock that has an icing/heating device without making it so I wobble maybe. HOwever, icing and heating your feet generally require you sit somewhere and the rest is probably the most beneficial thing you can do for TTS

4. Hmmmmm. I'd turn ugly, compression socks into something with designs and colors like other socks. Maybe even some funky fringe.