Acquired Flat Feet - Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Acquired Flat Feet

A lot of our time in life is spent in the pursuit of acquisition.  It may be we are working hard to acquire material items, success, respect, memorable moments, or ultimately happiness. But some of the things we can acquire may not be to our liking, such as flat feet for example!  Now flat feet may not have been the first thing to come to your mind, but “Adult Acquired Flatfoot” is most often caused by a condition known as Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction or PTTD.

What is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?

PTTD is an overuse injury of the tendon of the Tibialis Posterior muscle.  This muscle functions as a stabilizer and also plays a role in being able to roll the bottom of the foot inward (invert) or to point the foot downward (plantarflexion).  One of its major roles however is to support the longitudinal arch of the foot.  When we injure this tendon, we may lose that support resulting in a progressive collapse of the arch.

What are the causes of PTTD?

Often times the beginnings of Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction follows an injury or an overuse injury.  For example, you may be playing your favorite sport after a period of inactivity when suddenly you feel a pop on the inside of your foot or ankle. This popping may have been the result of a tear in the Tibialis Posterior tendon.  Other activities may include going on a long hike or multiple back-to-back hikes over the summer. Simply walking around one of the many phoenix summer festivals for a few days would even do the trick.  Often runners who increase their weakly mileage too soon, too fast can also experience PTTD.

What are the signs and symptoms of PTTD?

If you have recently experienced an injury of the foot or heard the pop mentioned earlier, pay close attention to the following:

  • Swelling, redness, inflammation

  • Initial pain or discomfort on the inside/bottom of your foot. Later pain on the outside of the foot below the ankle.

  • Progressive collapse of the arch of your foot

  • Inward rolling of the ankle

 

When to see a Podiatrist?

The answer is as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.  With prompt treatment a podiatrist can slow or stop the progression of the injury.  Treatment Options may include:

  • Ankle Taping

  • Shoe modifications

  • Custom orthotics to provide arch support

  • Offloading of the foot via a brace or boot

  • Possible surgical repair

 

Schedule an Appointment

If you feel that you may be suffering from Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. 

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