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Todd Borenstein MD

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Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

What is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a condition that occurs when this tendon weakens or tears, and is no longer able to support the arch of the foot As a result, patient’s may develop pain, swelling and a worsening flatfoot deformity.

What causes posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is the result of a repetitive injury to the posterior tibial tendon during standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Often patients have tight calf muscles which can increase the stress on the posterior tibial tendon, rendering the tendon more prone to injury.

What are the symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction include pain, swelling, a painful limp, and flatfoot deformity. With time, the joints of the foot may become arthritis, and the foot can be come stiff as a result. Shoe wear may become painful and difficult

How is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction diagnosed?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfucntion is diagnosed with a thorough medical history and physical examination. X-rays of the foot and ankle will be ordered. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be ordered to assess the joint surfaces, tendons and bones.

How is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction treated?

Nonsurgical treatment

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction can be treated successfully with physical therapy to strengthen the tendons and muscles that support the arch of the foot, immobilization with a walking boot or ankle brace, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and activity modifications.

Surgical treatment

Surgery may be necessary for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction when conservative measures fail to bring relief. Surgery includes removing inflamed tissue around the tendon, replacing the damaged tendon with another tendon of the foot, realigning the structure of the foot by cutting bones, and fusing bones when arthritis has developed in order to remove the arthritis and realign the foot.