Comprehensive Care

At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, our foot and ankle specialists are all fellowship-trained in foot and ankle surgery and focus exclusively on managing problems related to the feet. When your feet or ankles are not working properly, it can significantly lower your quality of life. Our goal is to get you back on your feet and back to your regular life as quickly and painlessly as possible. We perform over a thousand foot and ankle surgeries each year, including tarsal tunnel surgery. We take the time to collaborate with other specialists that you may need during your treatment or recovery to ensure that you have the best experience possible and make a full and safe recovery.

What is the tarsal tunnel?

It is the portion of your body where the leg nerve (tibial nerve) travels down to the ankle. Many other structures are found here as well, including tendons, veins, and arteries, leaving little room for expansion.

What is tarsal tunnel syndrome?

It is a foot and ankle nerve disorder, which occurs when there is swelling in the tarsal tunnel, compressing the tibial nerve. Patients often experience severe discomfort and pain in the inner foot and ankle, which may increase in sensitivity throughout the day. Walking and standing can become difficult and require constant breaks off the feet.

What are the causes?

There are a number of causes of compression of the tibial nerve. These include:

  • Injuries, including ankle sprains
  • Diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis
  • Unnatural foot shape, including flat feet or fallen arches
  • Enlarged or irregular foot structures, including varicose veins or bone spurs

What are the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Any of the following symptoms may warrant a consultation with MedStar Orthopaedic Institute:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Tingling


Sensations associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome may occur in any of these areas of the foot or ankle:

  • Along the inside of the ankle
  • Inner side of the heel
  • Arch of the foot
  • Inner sole of the foot

Symptoms tend to increase as the day progresses and are usually worsened with increased activity, such as walking or exercise. Prolonged standing in one place may also be an aggravating factor.

How is it treated?

If you are suffering from this condition, it is important to visit MedStar Orthopaedic Institute for a comprehensive evaluation. One of our skilled doctors may recommend conservative treatment when possible. This may include:

  • Orthotics
  • Ice
  • Elevation
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Cortisone injections
  • Fascial stripping

In situations where conservative options are unsuccessful, your physician may recommend tarsal tunnel release surgery. This surgery is performed through a small incision behind the ankle bone on the inside of the foot and involves removing scar tissue in order to release the compressed nerve.


If you believe you may be suffering from this syndrome, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating foot and ankle conditions and are pleased to offer comprehensive tarsal tunnel treatment in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our Specialists

Foot & Ankle

Nicholas D. Casscells, MD
Nicholas D. Casscells, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
Paul Stuart Cooper, MD
Paul Stuart Cooper, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery
PhonePhone: 202-444-3668

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Kathryn Marie O’Connor, MD

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center


3800 Reservoir Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: 202-444-8766
1120 20th Street Northwest, Building 1 South Washington, DC, 20036
Phone: 202-416-2000
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, 11th Floor Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
Phone: 301-215-9423