Understanding Sinus Tarsi Syndrome: Getting The Treatment You Need

When you are an athlete who plays outdoors on uneven surfaces, there is a relatively high chance that you will roll or sprain your ankle at some point. While you may not even notice such ankle rolls when they happen, or do not take the time to deal with them, such issues can lead to other foot problems that cause persistent trouble remaining balanced on uneven surfaces, pain when placing weight on the foot, and even ankle and foot instability.

If this occurs, you likely have a condition known as sinus tarsi syndrome. While receiving a sinus tarsi syndrome diagnosis may give you pause, get to know some of the treatment options available through podiatric sports medicine so that you can get back out on the field as soon as possible.

Strengthening Exercises, Ice, and Rest

Before any major medical interventions are attempted to treat sinus tarsi syndrome, your podiatrist and sports medicine doctors will likely recommend that you take a break from training for a period of time (a few weeks or more). This is designed to relieve pressure and allow the swelling and inflammation in the foot to recede.

Along with this break from the strenuous activities, you will need to ice your foot and ankle intermittently. This will help to relieve discomfort and will also contribute to reducing swelling. Your sports medicine doctor can also prescribe exercises designed to strengthen and stabilize your foot and ankle to prevent a recurrence of symptoms or further injury. 

Orthoses to Promote Stability

Orthotic devices such as ankle braces, taping the foot and ankle during physical activity, and even special stable shoes are the next line of treatment for sinus tarsi syndrome. These othoses are designed to prevent your foot and ankle from moving in unwanted ways, preventing further ankle rolling and worse injuries. 

These devices can and should be worn even after recovery from the symptoms of sinus tarsi syndrome, especially when a person returns to their regular training routine. Such devices can be customized and prescribed by doctors or sometimes purchased over-the-counter. 


If a person does not respond to other treatment measures for their sinus tarsi syndrome, they may require surgery to correct the issue. The surgical procedure used is designed to reconstruct the subtabular joint (the joint just below the ankle joint above the heel of the foot). 

Surgery may also be required to repair damage to tendons and ligaments that can contribute to sinus tarsi syndrome discomfort and ankle instability. These surgeries are often used in athletes who need to continue to engage in strenuous activity, though do require significant recovery and rehabilitation (physical therapy) in order to be effective. 

Now that you know your sinus tarsi syndrome treatment options, you can get to your podiatric sports medicine doctor like one from Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd and get started in your treatment program. The sooner your get started the sooner you can get back out on the field.