Lateral plantar nerve entrapment causes pain that radiates to the inside of the ankle and lower into the heel, along the path of the nerve. Treatment involves rest and identifying and correcting the underlying cause of the injury.
Lateral plantar nerve entrapment symptoms
Symptoms include pain originating from the nerve which radiates into the lower heel on the inside, as well as the inner ankle area. Numbness in the heel is not normally a symptom plantar nerve entrapment.
A doctor may inject the area with local anesthetic to help with diagnosis. If pain is temporarily eliminated because of the pain killing injection then this is a good indication that the lateral plantar nerve is causing the problem.erve Nerve conduction tests may also be used to help diagnose a plantar nerve entrapment.
Causes and anatomy
The lateral plantar nerve branches off the posterior tibial nerve after it has passed through the tarsal tunnel. The nerve can become trapped or compressed between the abductor hallucis muscle and the quadratus planus muscle in the foot.
Patients with poor foot biomechanics are more susceptible to this injury. Athletes who overpronate where the foot rolls in or flattens will increase the likelihood of causing the nerve to be compressed.
Treatment of lateral plantar nerve entrapment
Rest is important. Avoid using the foot as much as possible. If the injury is minor then adjusting training methods by reducing running mileage or substituting swimming or cycling for running until the injury has healed may be sensible. For a more severe injury, complete rest may be advised.
A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or NSAID's (e.g. ibuprofen). Always check with a doctor before taking medication. Do not take ibuprofen if you have asthma.
A corticosteroid injection may be administered if conservative treatment is unsuccessful. If this also fails, a surgical release may be performed.