If you have pain in your foot or ankle but don’t have an obvious injury, deformity, mass, or wound, your nerves might be to blame. When the nerves in your feet or ankle get trapped, you can experience repeated, debilitating pain that interrupts your life.
Nerve entrapment and neuropathy in your foot or ankle is a painful condition, but podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, from Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, can help manage your condition. Discover more about neuropathy, nerve entrapment, and how to treat them.
What are neuropathy and nerve entrapment?
When you damage or injure your nerves, you develop a condition called neuropathy. Neuropathy causes permanent nerve damage that can occur anywhere in your body, including your feet and ankles.
Similarly, nerve entrapment occurs when your nerves become pinched or compressed. This means your nerves have pressure on them, causing them to become swollen and inflamed. Without treatment, nerve entrapment can become permanent.
Causes of foot and ankle neuropathy and nerve entrapment
There are several different conditions that can cause neuropathy and nerve entrapment in your foot or ankle. These include:
You can acquire various kinds of neuropathy, nerve damage, or entrapment as part of a different acute or chronic injury to your foot or ankle. Your symptoms vary based on the specific nature of your injury.
If your diabetes isn’t well controlled, high blood sugar puts you at risk for developing diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy makes it more difficult for you to feel sensation in your foot, making it easier to miss cuts and putting you at higher risk of falls.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when you have nerve damage in your tibial nerve, which moves down the back of your leg and through your ankle. When damaged, it causes pain, a burning sensation, and numbness in your heel or sole.
Baxter’s nerve entrapment
You develop this condition when the lateral plantar nerve, which extends from your little toe to the inside of your ankle, becomes compressed. This can result in heel and sole numbness and pain.
Peroneal nerve damage in the nerve just below your knee can cause neuropathy, tingling, pain, and numbness on the top of your foot. It can also cause you to have trouble raising your toes and feel like your ankle or toes are weak while you walk.
Treatment for neuropathy and nerve entrapment
If you experience symptoms, such as weakness, tingling, sharp pain, numbness, and a burning sensation, from neuropathy or nerve entrapment, Dr. Rambacher can help you manage and relieve your symptoms. Treatments for managing these conditions include the following:
- Icing the nerve
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
If conservative treatments aren’t helping with your symptoms, Dr. Rambacher can also perform minimally invasive surgery to decompress and repair the nerve.
When you have a condition that causes neuropathy or nerve entrapment, prompt treatment helps decrease your pain and reduce the changes the condition becomes permanent. For support with and treatment for nerve-related issues in the foot and ankle, contact us to make an appointment.