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Attaching the calf muscle to the foot bones, the posterior tibial tendon serves an important role in supporting the foot structure and enabling proper foot function. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is caused by overuse and repetitive stress, which results in overstretching and inflammation of the tendon. When the tendon is overstretched, it no longer supports the arch, and the foot begins to flatten under body weight. When the arch collapses, the foot and toes roll outward, and the ankle rolls inward. If unaddressed, posterior tibial tendon can lead to adult acquired flatfoot and painful arthritic symptoms.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction often occurs when the tibial tendon incurs an acute injury or is overused, which causes tears or inflammation. Over time, the tendon will slowly collapse, further worsening the condition and potentially causing other conditions to arise.
Pain is the most reported symptom of posterior tibial dysfunction. Typically, pain will occur along the inside of the foot and ankle or on the outside of the ankle, due to the foot collapsing and the heel bone shifting into a new outward position.
The physicians at Kayal Orthopaedic Center will perform a thorough physical examination, where they will observe the foot and ankle’s movement, and check for several distinguishing physical characteristics that indicate the condition’s presence.Our physicians will look for:
Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, an MRI, a CT Scan or an ultrasound, may be performed for further diagnosis confirmation.
When caught early, PTTD symptoms often improve without surgical intervention. Traditional treatment methods, like bracing and orthotics, short leg casts (for immobilization), physical therapy and/or medication, may eliminate pain. When conservative measures fail, surgery is an effective option to relieve pain. Depending on severity of PTTD, Kayal Orthopaedic Center’s expert surgeons may recommend:
Our physicians customized approach to foot and ankle treatment ensures that patients receive the best possible outcome.