Foot Nerve Disorders | Ankle | MedStar Health

Our specialists are all fellowship-trained in foot and ankle surgery and focus exclusively on managing problems related to the lower extremities. We offer comprehensive and multidisciplinary care to ensure that your specific needs are met throughout treatment and recovery. We perform thousands of foot and ankle surgeries every year. We also collaborate on your care with any other specialist you need. This team approach gives you the best chance of a successful outcome.

What is a foot or ankle nerve disorder?

This is any problem that causes a restriction or pressure on the nerves found in the feet or ankles. The most common nerve disorders that affect the feet and ankles include tarsal tunnel syndrome and Morton’s neuroma, among others. Nerve conditions can be both painful and debilitating, and often require physical therapy or surgery to correct the problem.

We have extensive experience treating both diseases. Usually, treatment requires a combination of the following approaches:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Braces
  • Orthopedic surgery

What are the causes?

There are a number of neurological foot and ankle conditions that can cause nerve pain in the foot and even inhibit your ability to walk or perform day-to-day tasks. In some cases, nerve problems even result in debilitating pain. At MedStar Health, it is our goal to not only stop your pain and get you back on your feet but also to treat the underlying cause of your nerve-related pain. Some of our commonly treated nerve issues include:

What are the symptoms?

Visit one of our specialists if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms:

  • Burning feeling
  • Crawling sensation
  • Tingling or “foot falling asleep”
  • “Pins and needles” feeling
  • Radiating pain

How are these disorders diagnosed?

Our orthopedic surgeons are experts at diagnosing the full range of ankle arthritis problems. Our initial exam generally includes:

  • Medical history evaluation: This includes asking questions about when your pain began, whether it affects one or both ankles, and when the pain feels most severe. Other questions may be about previous injuries, whether you have other medical problems, and if you take any medications
  • Physical exam: Your orthopedist will examine your ankles and feet and watch how you walk to evaluate alignment and strength in your ankles
  • Nerve tests: Your physician may also use nerve disorder tests to help identify or rule out a nerve disorder

What are the best treatments for nerve damage in the foot or ankle?

Nerve pain may be treated with conservative options, including the following:

  • Physical therapy

  • Orthotics

  • Pain medication

  • Massage therapy

When conservative options are not effective, our physicians may recommend surgery, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome surgery, to repair nerve damage or release pressure on the nerve.