Why do my feet and legs tingle or feel numb?

“Hello again, Dr. Danciger from Palm Desert, CA. Today I want to talk about some of the different areas in the leg where you can have nerve compression and you can have symptoms in the foot. These are areas that we check when people are complaining of various tingling, burning, fullness sensation, pins and needles, or feeling like they have ants crawling on their skin or in their leg.

I’ll also show you the various areas we check in the foot.

For areas of the leg, one site of compression is [near the knee] around the head of the fibula. You may have noticed at times, if you’ve sat and crossed your legs, when you got up your leg was asleep, that nerve gets compressed. Another area of compression is [near the side of the shin]. If you tap on that area, you may notice a tingling going down into the leg. Another area of compression can be [near the other side of the shin] where there’s another nerve, so we’ll check for that.

Another area of compression is about 4-5 finger breadths behind the back of the knee. You can press on that, and if there’s discomfort or you get tingling, you can get it at the bottom of the foot and even in the toes.

These are some areas that we check for nerve compression to see if there’s a problem, and then we can talk about treatment.

On the foot, we can see a nerve compression site is [near the inside of the ankle] for the tibial nerve, the medial calcaneal nerve is [closer to the heel], then we have the lateral plantar nerve [closer to the arch], medial plantar nerve [in the arch]. These are common sites for nerve compressions in the foot.

As far as on the front of the foot, we’ve got nerve compression site [on the top of the foot] for the deep fibula nerve. The sural nerve is over [on the outside of the foot between the heel and ankle or higher up if it is in the leg].

The other areas of nerve compression are [on the top of the foot, close to the toes] or in the area on the bottom of the foot in any of the various web spaces – you can get a nerve compression in those areas too.

These are just some of the sites of nerve compression in the foot.”

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle