What is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Flat foot is a fairly common condition of the foot, but most of the time simply having a lower arch or flatter foot is not always an issue. What is a issue is if it is progressive and becomes painful, then it's referred to as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or adult acquired flatfoot. In these cases the arch of the foot becomes progressively flatter and the rearfoot rolls inwards. This is usually associated with pain in the arch of the foot and in the ankle region. Those with this also find walking is a lot is a lot and walking uses a lot of energy leading to a lot of tiredness.The main cause of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is not fully understood, but it is a problem where the posterior tibial tendon and muscle can't just do the task that it is intended for. The main role of the posterior tibial tendon is to hold up the arch of the foot and stop the heel rolling inwards. For reasons unknown the muscle and tendon complex can not just do their job any more, leading to the progressive nature of this condition.The treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is sort of urgent and needs to be dealt with as early as it possibly can.

This is due to the problem is progressive and it will reach a stage where conventional methods are unsuccessful and surgery is the only choice. As the surgical outcomes usually are acceptable, they do consist of the fusion of some joints to prevent the problem getting worse, that comes with some long term limitations on gait and function, so is best avoided. To avoid the surgical intervention, treatment options ought to be started early. This will likely involve foot orthotics that are really supportive and angle the foot back in the correct direction. Exercises are also encouraged, but should not be used instead of foot orthotics, as they are crucial to stop the flat foot from progressing.

 

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