Tibial nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation in the foot from damage to the
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Tibial nerve dysfunction is an unusual form of
A problem in function with a single nerve group, such as the tibial nerve, is called
Pressure on the nerve for a long period of time
Pressure on the nerve from nearby body structures
Entrapment createes pressure on the nerve where it passes through a narrow structure.
The damage may destroy the
The tibial nerve is often injured by pressure from a ligament on the inner part of the ankle. Injury or disease of structures near the knee may also damage the tibial nerve. The tibial nerve may also be affected by diseases that damage many nerves, such as
In some cases, no cause can be found.
- Sensation changes in the bottom of the foot and toes, including
numbness, tingling, or other abnormal sensation, or pain
- Weakness of foot muscles
- Weakness of the toes or ankle
Signs and tests
An examination of the legs will be done to diagnose tibial nerve dysfunction. The health care provider will also take a medical history.
Inability to curl the toes, push the foot down, or twist the ankle inward
In severe cases, the foot muscles may become very weak and the foot may be deformed.
Tests for tibial nerve dysfunction may include:
EMG(a recording of electrical activity in muscles) Nerve biopsy Nerve conduction tests(recording of electrical activity along the nerve)
Other tests that may be ordered include blood tests and imaging tests, such as
Treatment is aimed at restoring feeling and strength to the foot and toes. In some cases, no treatment is needed, and patients will recover on their own. Severe loss of sensation may lead to toe or foot sores (ulcers) and infections.
Surgery to enlarge the tarsal tunnel or transfer the nerve helps reduce pressure on the tibial nerve and may benefit some people.
Physical therapy exercises may help some people maintain muscle strength.
Job counseling, therapy, changes, or retraining may be recommended.
If the cause of the tibial nerve dysfunction can be found and successfully treated, patients can recover fully. Some people may have a partial or complete
- Deformity of the foot (mild to severe)
- Movement loss in the toes (partial or complete)
- Repeated or unnoticed injury to the leg
- Sensation loss in the toes or foot (partial or complete)
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of tibial nerve dysfunction are present. Early diagnosis and treatment increases the likelihood that symptoms can be controlled.
Prevention is variable depending on the cause of the nerve damage.