Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Definition
Post-Tib Tendonitis is inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon runs along the medial or inside of the ankle and the foot. When there is post-tibial tendon dysfunction, the tendon does not function well or without pain to hold up the arch, which can result in flat feet. This can lead to heel pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs. Usually but not always pain will be present with activity. Occasionally the tendon can rupture completely which always results in a progressive deformation of the foot with arch collapse and trouble ambulating.

Cause

Post-Tib Tendonitis usually occurs as a overuse syndrome or sometimes as the result of trauma. Years of over-pronation (flat feet) (low arch) can also lead to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. This tendon has a poor blood supply therefore, when the tendon becomes injured, as a result of trauma or overuse the body has difficulty delivering the proper nutrients for healing. Eventually the problem may become more permanent.

Treatment and Prevention

The initial treatment of posterior tibial tendonitis is focused on resting the tendon to allow for healing. Unfortunately, even normal walking may not adequately allow for the tendon to rest sufficiently. In these cases, the ankle and foot must be immobilized to allow for rest. Options for early treatment include. Stiff supportive shoes and arch supports, or rest , or immobilization from wearing a cast or brace boot Preventing motion should decrease the inflammation associated with posterior tibial tendonitis. Orthotics used for arch support decrease the strain and stretching that is normally placed on this tendon. Other common treatments for early stage posterior tibial tendonitis include using anti-inflammatory meds and activity modification, and don’t forget supportive shoes and inserts Both of these treatments can help to control inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon.