Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

What is Sinus Tarsi Syndrome?

This is a solitary ailment that brings about ongoing problems following a strain of the ankle joint.

This syndrome is really a hole in the boney tissue in the middle of two bones with the hind part of the foot beneath the ankle joint. The structures that are in between these two bones will have also been sprained during a twisted out ankle joint strain. But at first this will get missed or will not be identified.

The soreness of this syndrome is able to be palpated on the outside of the ankle joint in front of the lateral or external rear foot bone. A CT scan may show an extreme amount of fluid in the cavity of the sinus tarsi.

Another cause of this syndrome is a pronated or fallen foot. This may create difficulties when the ankle is stretched to its end range of flexibility. This type of bone tissue with bone pressure is very unpleasant.


This individual usually goes to the physician with pain along the top or/and outside of the ankle and foot. This pain is frequently defined as a sharp sensation of pinching of the foot when toes are pulled closer to the shin for instance when walking-up stairs. Individuals with sinus tarsi syndrome usually complain of back of the foot being unstable while walking on uneven ground.

The symptoms and signs of this syndrome consist of the following:


  • Tarsal pain increasing with time on the feet
  • Tarsal pain located deep in the subtalar joint
  • Tarsal pain that rises with forced inversion
  • Localized pain in front of the bony bit on the ankle’s outside
  • Pain that is comforted by rest
  • Impassive inversion of the subtalar joint – joint under the talus


Usually overuse by repetitive movements of the sinus tarsi from over pronation or an ankle sprain that is inverted are the two (2) reasons causing this area of pain. Both cause irritation and traumatic injury to the tissues that are located in the sinus tarsi.


The symptoms of sinus tarsi syndrome may often be relieved with an injection of local anesthetic in the sinus tarsi.

  • An injection that is anesthetic into the sinus tarsi which is very painful will confirm the diagnosis by getting rid of pain and allowing function to return to normal.
  • A MRI test may identify unnecessary fluid in the sinus tarsi
  • Orthotics will support the foot and correct over pronation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications will also help

Very infrequently surgery is specified and if necessary there are two (2) methods:

  • Open surgery – through an incision
  • Closed surgery – via arthroscopy

Outstanding outcomes should be anticipated but remember any surgery is not a cure-all and should be only reflected on as a last resort.

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