What Is Posterior Tibial Tendonitis? Posterior tibial tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon located on the inside aspect of the ankle. It attaches to the bone on the inner side of the foot and has a poor blood supply thus has difficulty in healing when injured. This injury is very uncommon and can lead to more serious dysfunction if stretched out or broken.
How Does It Occur? Posterior tibial tendon issues usually occur just below the most prominent bone on the inside aspect of the ankle called the medial malleolus.The posterior tibial tendon wraps just underneath this prominent portion of bone before it continues underneath the foot. The tendon has a poor blood supply around the medial malleolus area and has difficulty repairing itself when injured. Trauma from overuse can have an accumulative affect thus making it extremely difficult for healing to take place in this area.
What Are The Symptoms Of Posterior Tibial Tendonitis? People will complain of:
1. Pain in the inside of the foot and ankle.
2. An unsteady gait when walking.
3. A past history of an ankle sprain.
4. Flattening of the foot (loss of an arch).
How is it Diagnosed? Your doctor will perform a thorough examination to evaluate the tenderness over the course the tendon travels. Muscle weakness when inverting (pointing the toes inward) the foot may be present. You might not be able to stand on your toes. An MRI may be ordered to see the extent of the inflammation and or diagnose a complete tear of the tendon.
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis Treatment:
1. Rest is the most important aspect of treatment for this injury. A cam walker and/or a cast may be ordered to immobilize the foot and ankle so that sufficient healing can occur.
2. Specialized shoe inserts and/or custom orthotics may be ordered to help alleviate stress with walking activities. High quality shoe inserts with a stiff platform can be helpful in control and limiting excessive motion between the forefoot and the rear foot which in turn can be helpful in decreasing inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the inflammatory process along with activity modification. Both of these treatments can help to control the inflammation around the posterior tibial tendon. Surgical treatment can vary depending on the severity of the injury and requires extensive rehabilitation afterwards.
All material provided is designed for information purposes only and should not be used to replace the care of a health care professional. Do not rely on any of the information for diagnosis or treatment. It is recommended that you visit a qualified health care professional for individual and personal attention.