Posted on: 19 November 2014
The sinus tarsi is a cavity on the outside of your foot, just below your ankle. This cavity is similar to the carpal tunnel you have in your wrist; it holds your veins and nerves. Unfortunately, it can be injured, which leads to a painful condition called sinus tarsi syndrome. Here's what you need to know about this foot problem.
How do you know you have it?
The signs of sinus tarsi syndrome are very similar to other foot and ankle conditions. You will experience pain and swelling, which can make diagnosis difficult. Doctors diagnose the condition by first ruling out other foot problems. You will need to undergo a lot of testing (such as x-rays, CT scans, or ankle arthroscopy) to rule out these other problems.
Can it be caused by your shoes?
Sinus tarsi syndrome can sometimes be caused by improper footwear. If your feet roll inwards when you walk and this isn't corrected by your shoes, sinus tarsi can be the result. However, this isn't very common.
The most common cause is trauma to the foot and ankle, which is responsible for about 70% of cases. Scar tissue that forms after an injury can cause chronic inflammation inside the foot, and lead to sinus tarsi syndrome. Ankle sprains that don't heal properly can also lead to the condition.
Can it be treated?
People with sinus tarsi syndrome have a lot of treatment options available to them. The first step of treatment, as with other foot injuries, focuses on reducing the swelling in your ankle. You will need to rest and elevate your injured foot, and your doctor may also direct you to use ice or compression.
You will also have to stop doing activities that aggravate your injury, like running or playing sports. Well-fitting, stable shoes can help you heal, as can an ankle brace. Invasive treatments like surgery are very rarely performed, and are only done as a last resort.
How common is it?
Sinus tarsi syndrome is a rare problem. No studies have been done to estimate its exact prevalence within the Australian population. Since it's so uncommon, your doctor will need to refer you to a podiatrist clinic such as AC Podiatry that specializes in foot problems.
Sinus tarsi syndrome is a rare foot disorder, but fortunately, treatments are available. If you think you might have this condition, talk to your doctor. If your doctor thinks you have the condition, you'll be referred to a podiatrist.Share