S is for Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

November 3, 2012

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is an impingement of the structures in the sinus tarsi

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is a condition characterized by pain and tenderness in the sinus tarsi region of the foot. The sinus tarsi is a small, hollow space located on the outside of the foot between the talus bone (ankle bone) and the calcaneus bone (heel bone).

The exact cause of Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of factors including:

  1. Ankle Sprain or Trauma: Previous ankle sprains or trauma can lead to ligamentous instability in the sinus tarsi region, contributing to the development of the syndrome.
  2. Overpronation: Excessive inward rolling of the foot (overpronation) can cause abnormal forces and strain on the structures within the sinus tarsi, leading to pain and inflammation.
  3. Flat Feet: People with flat feet (pes planus) may be more prone to developing Sinus Tarsi Syndrome due to the altered biomechanics and increased stress on the sinus tarsi area.
  4. Repetitive Activities: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive foot movements, such as running or jumping, can contribute to the development of the syndrome.

The primary symptom of Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is pain and tenderness on the outside of the foot, specifically in the sinus tarsi area. The pain is typically aggravated by walking, running, or activities that involve weight-bearing and foot movements. Swelling and difficulty with ankle motion may also be present.

Treatment options for Sinus Tarsi Syndrome include:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Resting the foot and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain can help alleviate symptoms. Modifying activities and using supportive footwear can also be beneficial.
  2. Ice and Anti-inflammatory Medications: Applying ice packs to the affected area and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen the foot and ankle, improve stability, and promote proper biomechanics. Manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilizations and soft tissue massage, may also be used.
  4. Orthotic Devices: Custom orthotic inserts or shoe modifications may be recommended to provide support, correct foot alignment, and reduce overpronation.
  5. Steroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.
  6. Surgical Intervention: If conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may be considered in severe cases. Surgical options may involve cleaning the sinus tarsi, repairing ligaments, or addressing any underlying structural issues.


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