Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Overview

This is a problem with a tendon supporting the foot’s arch. We call it the posterior tibial tendon. It connects the calf muscle to the bones on the inner side of the foot. With posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, the tendon becomes inflamed or torn. Your arch becomes unstable, and it may collapse.

Causes and Risk

Factors A foot injury can cause posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. You can hurt this tendon during a fall. This dysfunction can also be caused by overuse. It can happen if you do a lot of walking or running. High impact sports, such as basketball, tennis or soccer can bring it on. It’s more common in people who are older than 40. It’s more common in women, in people who are obese, and in people who have diabetes or hypertension.

Symptoms

Symptoms include pain on the inner side of your foot. The foot may also swell. It hurts more with activity. It can be hard for you to stand or walk for long periods of time. As your foot becomes unstable, bones may begin to shift. Your heel tilts outward and your arch collapses. This can cause pain on the outer side of your ankle.

Treatment

Treatment options include rest, medications, and a support such as a shoe insert or a brace. Your doctor may recommend a cast or a walking boot. If these aren’t helpful, you may benefit from surgery.