Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is a condition that affects the posterior tibial tendon which is the band of tissue that connects the calf with the mid-foot bones and supports the foot while walking. When this tendon becomes inflamed, torn, or over-stretched you may develop PTTD. While PTTD typically causes pain and other symptoms, the condition is treatable. With the help of an experienced podiatrist, you can have your foot functionality restored.

Causes of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

PTTD occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed (tendonitis), which can occur for a number of reasons (e.g. tendon injury and inherent abnormalities in the tendon itself). Further PTTD risk factors include: 

  • Age – tendons lose elasticity as you age. 
  • Gender - PTTD is most common in women over the age of 40
  • Certain inflammatory diseases including Reiter's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
  • Diabetes. 
  • Foot trauma or injury.
  • Obesity. 
  • Wearing ill-fitting dress shoes, especially high heels.

Athletes are also more prone to developing PTTD after the age of 40 given their heightened risk of suffering foot injuries combined with a loss of elasticity in the tendon.

Symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

Symptoms of PTTD include: 

  • Sudden onset of redness, pain and swelling in the arch of the foot. 
  • A bulge in the inner side of the foot or ankle. 
  • Difficulty standing on the toes. 
  • Flattening or collapse of the arch of the foot. 

Treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

Treatment for PTTD depends on how far the condition has progressed and on the severity of your symptoms.

Non-surgical Treatment

In PTTD's early stages, treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and immobilization of the foot  can help the tendon heal.

Surgical Treatment

As the condition progresses, more invasive treatment might be necessary. Tendon surgery in which the doctor removes inflamed tendon tissue, repairs damaged bone and tendon tissue, and realigns the bones as necessary.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of PTTD or would like more information on the condition, contact the office immediately.  Dr. Siegel can perform a full evaluation of your condition and give you complete information on treatment options.