The origin of the tibial nerve is the nerve roots of the lower back (L4-S3). The bifurcation (splitting) of the sciatic nerve at the popliteal fossa (behind the knee) creates the tibial nerve. The tibial nerve then runs along the back of the leg giving motor and percutaneous sensory branches in close proximity to the tibialis. The nerve travels with the tibialis muscle until it reaches the foot with another bifurcation (after the tarsal tunnel) into the medial plantar nerve and lateral plantar nerves. The percutaneous branch shows tactile sensations to the bottom of the foot. Tibial Nerve dysfunction, compression, or neuropathy occurs when a local mechanical block, repetitive stress (sports injury) or referral from the lower back occurs.
This article will explore and address these three common tibial nerve dysfunctions or compression symptoms that cause neurologic sensations, pain in the lower leg, ankle, and foot.