Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

Sinus tarsi syndrome

What is it?

The sinus tarsi is a small bony canal with an opening on the outside of the ankle.  Inside that canal is a structure called the interosseous ligament.  When this ligament is strained, pain can develop around the outside of the ankle.  Often there will be no specific area that is sore, but more a generalised feeling of discomfort.  It is often worse first thing in the morning, or after a period of prolonged sitting, and as the area warms up, the pain will decrease. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking on uneven ground
  • Painful when running on a slope
  • Pain and swelling over the lateral or outside part of the ankle

Why is it happening now?

Sinus tarsi syndrome commonly occurs in people with very flexible, flat feet because when the feet are very flat or pronated, this puts a lot of strain through the interosseous ligament which is located in the sinus tarsi. It also commonly occurs in people who have had either a single or repetitive ankle sprain.  Common conditions such as gout and osteoarthritis can also lead to sinus tarsi syndrome as they cause inflammation.

Can it be fixed?

Yes!  Instant relief can be obtained through the use of local anaesthetics and corticosteroid injections but your Podiatrist will also look at what was causing the problem in the first place.  Some treatments would include

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Increasing ankle proprioception
  • Strapping
  • Orthotics
  • Better footwear