Sinus Tarsi Syndrome: Pain Near the Outside of Your Ankle

After an ankle sprain or repetitive strain on the ankle joint, lingering pain localized in the front and outside part near the ankle could be a condition called Sinus Tarsi Syndrome. This is an acute or chronic painful condition on the lateral aspect of the sinus tarsi, which is a small tunnel sitting between the talus and the calcaneus of the hindfoot, that is part of the subtalar joint. Sinus Tarsi Syndrome often includes localized pain to the sinus tarsi region, swelling, pain when weight bearing, and range of motion of the subtalar joint with inversion or eversion. Other than an ankle sprain, another risk factor of sinus tarsi syndrome is having flat feet or a very pronated foot type because of increased pressure on the sinus tarsi that can lead to soft tissue impingement in the small tunnel canal of the sinus tarsi.

The following are treatments that may be considered by your doctor or podiatrist for Sinus Tarsi Syndrome:

  • Rest, icing, and decreasing any painful physical activities
  • Orthotics to correct the over-pronation position of the foot
  • Ankle bracing to stabilize the foot and prevent the painful subtalar range of motion
  • Oral Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – ibuprofen
  • Corticosteroid Injections
  • Surgery – either through open surgery or close surgery (arthroscopy) to surgically remove soft tissue plug that causes the painful sinus tarsi impingement. Another surgical option is a subtalar joint fusion.

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome can be a very debilitating condition if not treated and is therefore important to have the correct diagnosis by a podiatrist to properly address this problem. Usually conservative treatments are quite effective such as orthotics in which a podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics to correct any abnormal foot biomechanics contributing to the painful foot condition. Although rarely indicated, surgery may be considered after all conservative treatments have been exhausted.

Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.