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Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

The Sinus Tarsi is a small area located at the outer aspect of the ankle, in between the talus and the calcaneus. It is better describes as a cavity and contains many different anatomical structures including ligaments and joint cavities. This may be better understood by viewing the image below.

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

An individual is said to have Sinus Tarsi Syndrome when injuries occur to the structures located at the area. The most common causes for injury are:

  • Ankle sprains – inversion sprains i.e. rolling outwards
  • Impingement due to having a pronated foot type i.e. having an extremely flat foot.
  • Instability of the subtalar joint, which causes the foot to pronate or supinate excessively

Common symptoms or signs

  • Pain at the outer aspect of the ankle
  • Pain when standing or weight bearing for long
  • Pain first thing in the morning – which may reduce with activity
  • Difficulty with performing activities on uneven surfaces
  • Swelling or tenderness may be present
  • Stiffness may also be present, which reduces with activity

Contributing Factors

  • Poor flexibility
  • Poor footwear
  • History of ankle sprains
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inappropriate training

Treatments mainly initially consists of adequate rest, icing and anti-inflammatory tables, aiming to reduce the inflammation which may be present. Once the pain has reduced, performing certain stretches and strengthening exercises would be recommended. For any further discussion on the condition, including treatment and management, please do contact your friendly podiatrist.


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