It is the job of the nerves in the body to supply the “electricity” and information from the brain to the skin, muscles, and organs. The nerves to the skin allow for the sense of touch, temperature, and pressure. Those nerves to the muscles function to give instruction for their contraction. Nerves are very sensitive and fragile. Injury to a nerve can be painful and lead to loss of function. When nerves are injured, they require more time to heal than most other parts of the body. When a nerve becomes injured, inflamed, and swollen it is often called a “neuroma.”
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
There is an important nerve that travels near the ankle on the inside (medial) part of the foot called the Posterior Tibial Nerve. This nerve courses through a series ligaments that act like a tunnel, protecting the nerve as it passes by the ankle. Once the nerve passes by the ankle, split into 3 branches coursing through the bottom of the foot and the heel. These nerves supply sensation to the skin on the heel and the bottom of the foot. If the nerve becomes damaged and swollen, the tunnel in which it travels may then compress the nerve. As the nerve gets squeezed it cannot function correctly. This then will produce symptoms within the foot and heel. Tarsal tunnel syndrome very similar to a problem in the hand called carpal tunnel syndrome.