Post-Tibial Tendonitis / Dysfunction

The post-tibial tendon runs vertically down the inside of the tibia bone and ankle, wrapping under the arch. The primary function of this tendon is to hold up the arch, as well as being a connector for the leg and foot. The tendon also helps to turn your foot inward while walking. When strain is placed on the post-tibial tendon, the tendon becomes inflamed.

Post-tibial tendonitis can lead to:

When the tendon dysfunctions, the arch is no longer held up and a flat foot occurs. This is referred to as post-tibial tendon dysfunction.

Cause

Overuse of the calf muscle will weaken the post-tibial tendon that connects the muscle to the bone. Strain on this tendon then becomes an issue. At first, the pain or swelling may come and go quickly, but eventually, the problem may become more permanent as the tendon weakens. Years of overpronation can also lead to post-tibial tendonitis and/or dysfunction.

Treatment

For mild symptoms of post-tibial tendon pain and discomfort:

  • Limit activity to allow the tendon to rest and heal
  • Use ice therapy while at rest to reduce inflammation.
  • Use a custom-fitted ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic to help support the post-tibial tendon during activity. The ezWalker® Custom Orthotic provides relief to every day stress and strain. The ezWalker® Custom Orthotic is designed to support the STT joint, which is the joint the post-tibial tendon wraps around as it finds the place of incursion to the bone.

If you are have severe swelling, pain upon bearing weight on your tendon, or experience extreme pain when you push on the area, you must seek the counsel of a physician. Post-tibial tendonitis and/or dysfunction is a very serious and painful condition, which if left untreated may develop into a rupture of the tendon. When the tendon ruptures, surgery is required.

As with all foot problems, proper shoe fit is a must. Make sure you fit your shoes properly. Have your fit checked regularly. And remember, the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.

If you follow these guidelines and severe pain persists, you must seek the counsel of a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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