Sinus Tarsi Syndrome


The sinus tarsi is a small cavity located on the outside of the ankle. This cavity contains numerous anatomical structures including ligaments and joint capsule. These structures may be injured following an ankle sprain or due to the repetitive strain associated with an excessively pronated (flat) foot. When this occurs, the condition is known as sinus tarsi syndrome. Patients with sinus tarsi syndrome typically experience pain over the outside of the ankle. There may also be swelling and tenderness in the region. Symptoms are typically worse in the morning and may present as pain and stiffness that slowly improves as the patient warms up. Symptoms may also be aggravated during walking or running especially on slopes or uneven surfaces.

How did I get this?

Sinus tarsi syndrome usually occurs following an ankle sprain or due to the repetitive strain associated with walking or running on an excessively flat foot.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest sufficiently from any activity that increases your pain.
  • Icing and short term anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. Ibuprofen) may help to significantly reduce inflammation.
  • Elevation of the affected foot to decrease inflammation.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may prescribe an ankle brace, appropriate footwear, and orthotics, along with strengthening exercises.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a steroid injection.

When will it get better?

Most patients with this condition heal well with an appropriate treatment program. This can be a lengthy process and may take several months in patients who have had their condition for a long period of time. Minor cases of this condition that are identified and treated early can usually settle within a few weeks. Early treatment is vital to hasten recovery and ensure an optimal outcome.