Difference Between Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Synopsis: Explains the difference between Tarsal Tunnel and Carpal Tunnel Syndromes including symptoms and treatments of each. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome treatments include various anti-inflammatories such as Anaprox, or other medications such as Ultracet, Neurontin and Lyrica. Lidocaine patches are also a treatment that helps some patients. Fortunately, for most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome, proper treatment usually can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is very similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel in your hand.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - Also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and a painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is impinged and compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel.
Many people who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may also suffer from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common form of mononeuropathy. It is more common than tarsal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most disabling work-related conditions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel in your hand. The median nerve gives feeling to your thumb, and index, middle and ring fingers. When tissues in the carpal tunnel, such as ligaments and tendons, get swollen or inflamed, they press against the median nerve. That pressure results in the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Hand weakness.
- Difficulty making a fist.
- Swollen feeling in the fingers.
- Difficulty manipulating small objects.
- Numbness or pins and needles feeling in the fingers.
- Difficulty gripping objects with the hands or dropping objects.
- Pain and/or numbness that is worse at night or interrupts sleep.
- Burning or tingling in your thumb, index, and middle fingers, or pain that moves up your arm to your elbow.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wearing splints to help immobilize the wrist.
- Resting the hands and wrist for longer periods throughout the day.
- Occupational therapy to loosen the tendons in the hands and wrists.
- Physiotherapy, steroids either orally or injected locally, splinting, and surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament.
- Daily use of nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Surgery with carpal tunnel release is indicated where there is evidence of median nerve denervation or a person elects to proceed directly to surgical treatment.
Fortunately, for most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome, proper treatment usually can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function. There is no or insufficient evidence for ultrasound, yoga, lasers, B6, and exercise therapy.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment - Dr. Jeffrey A. Oster - (2010-06-06)
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS)
The tarsal tunnel is found along the inner leg posterior to the medial malleolus. In the tunnel, the nerve splits into three different paths. One nerve (calcaneal) continues to the heel, the other two (medial plantar nerve and lateral plantar nerve) continue on to the bottom of the foot.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as posterior tibial neuralgia, is a compression neuropathy and painful foot condition in which the tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel. This tunnel is found along the inner leg behind the medial malleolus (bump onthe inside of the ankle). The posterior tibial artery, tibial nerve, and tendons of the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus, and flexor hallucis longus muscles travel in a bundle through the tarsal tunnel. Inside the tunnel, the nerve splits into three different segments. One nerve (calcaneal) continues to the heel, the other two (medial and lateral plantar nerves) continue on to the bottom of the foot. The tarsal tunnel is delineated by bone on the inside and the flexor retinaculum on the outside.
Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Swelling of the feet Electric shock sensations
- Pain while operating automobiles
- Hot and cold sensations in the feet
- A feeling as though the feet do not have enough padding
- Pain and tingling in and around ankles and sometimes the toes
- Pain radiating up into the leg, and down into the arch, heel, and toes
- Pins and needles type feeling and increased sensation on the feet
- Burning sensation on the bottom of foot that radiates upward reaching the knee
- Painful burning, tingling, or numb sensations in the lower legs. Pain worsens and spreads after standing for long periods; pain is worse with activity and is relieved by rest.
- A positive Tinel's sign (Tinel's sign is a tingling electric shock sensation that occurs when you tap over an affected nerve. The sensation usually travels into the foot but can also travel up the inner leg as well.)
Treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Medications may include various anti-inflammatories such as Anaprox, or other medications such as Ultracet, Neurontin and Lyrica. Lidocaine patches are also a treatment that helps some patients.
Treatments typically include rest, manipulation, strengthening of tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, peroneus and short toe flexors, casting with a walker boot, corticosteroid and anesthetic injections, hot wax baths, wrapping, compression hose, and orthotics.
Facts and Statistics
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect anyone and accounts for about 90% of all nerve compression syndromes.
- Only 10% of reported cases of CTS are younger than 30 years.
- Increasing age is a risk factor. CTS is also common in pregnancy.
- In the U.S., roughly 1 out of 20 people will suffer from the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Women suffer more from CTS than men with a ratio of 3:1 between the ages of 45 - 60 years.
- Caucasians have the highest risk of CTS compared with other races such as non-white South Africans.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome is listed as a rare disease by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Tarsal tunnel syndrome, or a subtype of Tarsal tunnel syndrome, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
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