Tibial nerve dysfunction: Treatment

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at increasing mobility and independent self-care. In some cases, no treatment is required and recovery is spontaneous.

Surgical removal of lesions that press on the nerve may benefit some people.

Over-the-counter analgesics or prescription medications may be needed to control pain (neuralgia). Various other medications (phenytoin, carbamazepine, gabapentin or tricyclic antidepressants such as nortriptyline) may reduce the stabbing pains that some people experience. Whenever possible, medication use should be avoided or reduced to lessen the risk of side effects.

Physical therapy exercises may help some people maintain muscle strength. Orthopedic assistance may aid the ability to walk. This may include use of braces, splints, orthopedic shoes, or other appliances.

Vocational counseling, occupational therapy, job changes or retraining, or similar interventions may be recommended.

Prognosis (Expectations)

If the cause of the tibial nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, there is a possibility of full recovery. The extent of disability varies, with partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Nerve pain may be quite uncomfortable and persist for a prolonged period of time.

Complications

  • Partial or complete loss of foot movement
  • Partial or complete loss of sensation in the foot
  • Recurrent or unnoticed injury to the leg
  • Deformity of the foot (mild to severe)

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.

Pictures & Images

Tibial nerve


Review Date : 3/26/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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