Volume 54 (2014) Issue 11 Pages 901-906
Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) is an entrapment neuropathy of the posterior tibial nerve and its branches in the tarsal tunnel. We present our less invasive surgical treatment of TTS in 69 patients (116 feet) and their clinical outcomes. The mean follow-up period was 64.6 months. With the patient under local anesthesia we use a microscope to perform sharp dissection of the flexor retinaculum and remove the connective tissues surrounding the posterior tibial nerve and vessels. To prevent postoperative adhesion and delayed neuropathy, decompression is performed to achieve symptom improvement without excessive dissection. Decompression is considered complete when the patient reports intraoperative symptom abatement and arterial pulsation is sufficient. The sensation of numbness and/or pain and of foreign substance adhesion was reduced in 92% and 95% of our patients, respectively. In self-assessments, 47 patients (68%) reported the treatment outcome as satisfactory, 15 (22%) as acceptable, and 7 (10%) were dissatisfied. Of 116 feet, 4 (3%) required re-operation, initial decompression was insufficient in 2 feet and further decompression was performed; in the other 2 feet improvement was achieved by decompression of the distal tarsal tunnel. Our surgical method involves neurovascular bundle decompression to obtain sufficient arterial pulsation. As we use local anesthesia, we can confirm symptom improvement intraoperatively, thereby avoiding unnecessary excessive dissection. Our method is simple, safe, and without detailed nerve dissection and it prevents postoperative adhesion.