Posterior Tibial Tendon
There's a tendon that runs from the ankle into the foot called the posterior tibial tendon that supports the arch and helps you walk.
Sometimes it stops doing its job, known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), which over time can lead to a flattening of the arches and adult acquired flat foot.
PTTD is often caused by overuse, like excessive running, walking, hiking or long sessions on the Stairmaster. Or it might be a result of direct injury to the tendon, age-related changes, flat feet, over-pronation or obesity.
The symptoms include pain and swelling, a feeling of warmth or redness along the inside of the foot and ankle, flattening of the arch, and pronation (the rolling inward of the ankle).
As PTTD progresses, we often see pain in the outside of the foot below the ankle and sometimes arthritis in the foot or ankle.
There are a few different treatment options that can stop PTTD from progressing if we catch it in time. Possible treatments might include orthotics to support the feet and ankles, ankle braces and wearing a cast or boot to immobilize the foot and allow healing. These might be accompanied by physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and changing the type of shoes you wear. Additionally our office can offer other regenerative medicine techniques to treat this problem, including our MLS pain laser treatments. These have shown to be effective in helping to bring blood flow and healing properties to the tendon. Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP) have also been effective in helping posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.
In very advanced cases when none of these options relieve the pain and progression, surgery might be necessary. But that's always a last resort.