Posterior Tibial Tendonitis: Posterior Tibial Tendon, Flatfoot, and Foot Pain.
The posterior tibial tendon is a strong cable-like tissue that runs down on the inner side of the tibia, to the medial ankle and bones of the foot. The posterior tibial tendon is a vital stabilizer of the ankle and arch of the foot. Like any tendon, the posterior tibial tendon can develop tendonitis and injury. When the tendon can no longer support the arch of the foot, this is known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or Insufficiency.
The posterior tibial tendon is the most important tendon of the foot to maintain the arch and prevent excessive pronation of the foot during the gait cycle and during exercises. When the tendon develops tendonitis, tendinopathy, or sustained an injury the posterior tibial tendon may no longer be able to prevent the foot from collapsing down flat to the ground, this is known as the flatfoot deformity. When the patient’s foot becomes flat or develops a flatfoot deformity then is known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or insufficiency. This insufficiency of dysfunction of the posterior tibial tendon generally occurs from repetitive overuse in activities that require a patient to control the collapsing of the foot’s arch. Running, basketball and dancers often develop a flatfoot due to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, due to high training demands.
Common posterior tibial tendon injury causes include:
- Inversion ankle sprain
- Eversion ankle sprain
- Poor tibialis posterior muscle strength
- Limited ankle dorsiflexion
- Tibial nerve dysfunction
- Limited big toe extension
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