Cut-off value for a normal posterior tibial nerve to diagnose tarsal tunnel syndrome amongst people of different race in Pretoria, South Africa

Natasha Roos, Tintswalo Brenda Mahlaola, Lynne Hazell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Posterior tibial nerve (PTN) cross-sectional area (CSA) reference values for the diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) using ultrasound imaging exist in several countries but not in South Africa (SA). Therefore, the objective was to measure the CSA reference values for PTN in SA. Methods: Ultrasound CSA measurements of PTN in both ankles on 112 participants were performed, the mean measurement was recorded, and the effect of race, age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) were recorded. Results: In this study, the primary variables age and BMI affect the CSA measurement of the PTN. A positive correlation was found between PTN asymptomatic size and age (r = 0.196, P < 0.05), size and BMI (r = 0.200, P < 0.05). Age (categories) had a mean value of 3.17 for the age group 36–45 years (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.9–3.4). The mean BMI was 30.0 kg/m2 (CI 28.57–31.08). As for the asymptomatic PTN, a mean CSA reference value of 0.10 cm2 was obtained. Conclusion: With increase in age and BMI, a greater PTN measurement will occur. Race appears to be a contributing factor, but further research is needed in this regard. The reference CSA value for normal PTN should be set at 0.10 cm2 for all racial groups for a basic musculoskeletal ultrasound exam protocol in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Radiation Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Ankle
  • posterior tibial nerve
  • reference value
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging

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