Posterior Tibial Tendon Treatment In Fort Myers, FL

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Ignore You Flat Feet Any Longer

Let the experts take a look!

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is the medical term for “adult-acquired flat feet”

Flat feet may sound mundane, but when left untreated, the consequences can be severe.

For those who experience it, this condition can quickly make your life miserable with every step.

Here at Neck In Motion Sport and Spine Physical Therapy, we’re familiar with this relatively common condition, and the pain that comes with it. 

It’s important to point out that this condition is different from plantar fasciitis; the inflammation of the fibrous sheet that is also a part of the anatomy of the arch.  Many people experience this condition at one point or another in their lives.  

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is much less common and much more severe.

The good news is that when caught early, this condition can be corrected through non-surgical means.  However, if left untreated, it will progress to deformity of the foot and degenerative changes to the surrounding joints. (1)  

If things have deteriorated this far, surgical reconstruction of the foot is the only solution.

Here’s how you can stop that from happening.

Let’s take a closer look…

What does the Posterior Tibial Tendon do?

You may never have heard of the posterior tibial tendon, but it’s one of the most important tendons of the leg.

In this case, the tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot. It follows a path behind and underneath the large bone on the inside of your ankle.

This tendon serves a vital purpose.

Its primary function is to hold up the arch of the foot, as well as support the foot when you walk. It is a key stabilizer for every step, especially on unstable surfaces.

The majority of people go their entire lives without irritating this tendon.


What triggers this “adult-acquired flat foot disease”?


The most common trigger is an acute injury or fall.

Landing with enough force on the foot can tear the posterior tibial tendon, or cause it to become inflamed.

Sports requiring repetitive, aggressive impact such as basketball, tennis, or soccer can also cause a tear. Once the tendon becomes inflamed or torn, the arch will slowly collapse over time.

Other contributing risk factors are:

  • Being female
  • Being over 40
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

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How do you know if you have posterior tibial tendon dysfunction? 

People suffering from this condition complain of foot pain on the inside of the foot, usually in the middle or rear of the foot.  This pain tends to follow the path of the tendon, behind the ankle bone, on the inside of the foot.

There will also be a considerable amount of weakness in the foot.  One telltale sign is the inability to do a single “heel raise”, sometimes known as a calf raise.  

Another strong indicator of the condition is called the “too many toes” sign.  

This happens when an observer stands behind the patient and looks down at their feet. From this angle, if you see more toes sticking out on the outside of the foot than you normally would expect, it is an indication that the arch is collapsed and the toes are rotated out to the side.

At more advanced stages, a clear foot deformity can be seen.

What are the most common posterior tibial tendon treatments?

Of course, not every foot pain deteriorates to the point of surgery. 

But, recognizing the above signals and catching posterior tibial tendon dysfunction at the earliest stages can save years of unnecessary pain and surgical recovery.

So what are the common treatments?
Here are some of the usual “default treatments”: 

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories)

These three are the usual “starting point” type treatments.  However, you’ll notice that none of these treatments address the root cause of the issue. (2)

  • Immobilization: The problem here is that putting the foot in a boot of some sort allows the tendon to recover, but has the downside of causing atrophy of the other leg muscles.
  • Orthotics: This is a foot insert.  “Store-bought” orthotics may suffice in milder cases, but a custom orthotic may be necessary if the condition worsens.  While more expensive, a custom orthotic allows your doctor more control over the foot position.
  • Braces: The next step for foot support would be a brace.  This works on feet that are stiffer or arthritic. In some cases, this option can help you avoid surgery.
  • Physical Therapy: This is where we can help.  A properly designed physical therapy program involving highly-specific strengthening and flexibility work is more effective in mild- to moderate cases of the disease.
  • Steroid Injection:  Injecting cortisone into the ankle is not usually recommended because of the risk of tendon rupture.  Caution should be used when discussing this option.

Here’s what to do next for your posterior tibial tendon….

If you’ve let your foot pain linger on too long, we strongly recommended you call our Fort Myers or Cape Coral locations.

Painful feet can disrupt your active lifestyle and quickly ruin your health. Foot pain forces you to miss out on doing the things you love to do.

There’s no reason to ignore it any longer.

Let’s work together to determine the cause of your foot pain, and build a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Is it arthritis?

Tendonitis?

Plantar Fasciitis?

Or something more severe like posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Don’t leave that determination to chance.

Call our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or better yet, let our experienced staff examine your feet in person.

You can reach us at 239-610-4979

Don’t spend another day in pain or being left out of family activities.

Call today: 239-610-4979

Ask your doctor to refer you to our Fort Myers location so you know you’ll receive the very best treatment for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367001/
  2. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/posterior-tibial-tendon-dysfunction/

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