What is Posterior Tibial Tendonitis?
A tendon joins the muscles to the bone. Posterior tibial tendon connects the calf muscles to the bones on the inside of the foot. The tendon supports the foot to walk. Posterior tibial tendonitis is a condition that affects foot and ankle. It happens when your posterior tibial tendon is torn or swollen due to an injury to the tendon.
This affects your mobility from one place to another. Posterior tibial tendonitis is more prevalent in women and people above the age of 40.
A severe injury can tear your posterior tibial tendon as well as make it to swell. You can injure the tendon when you fall or when you overuse the tendons when performing several sports activities due to poor muscle conditioning.
The following factors can increase your chances of developing posterior tibial tendonitis
- If you are diabetic
- If you are obese.
- Many patients feel pain in the inside of the foot and ankle and outside of the ankle
- Patients will have problems to stand on toes usually on the affected area or side
- Patients experience swelling and tenderness on the affected side.
Posterior tibial tendonitis can be classified into four different stages according to the deformity of your foot:
This is the initial stage of posterior tibial tendonitis. You experience pain and swelling along the tendons. Your foot appears normal while others there is a mild flatfoot deformity.
In this stage, the deformity of your foot is increasing and the arch of your foot starts to fall down. When you try to stand, your foot seems flat along the inside. Your foot can be rectified in this stage.
In this stage, your foot is not easily corrected and this condition is referred to as rigid flatfoot deformity.
In stage four, the condition become more severe and spreads to your ankle joint.
Your doctor will conduct a physical assessment of your foot and ankle to check for the symptoms such as swelling, changes in your foot shape and inability to move.
Your doctor can also conduct imaging tests to confirm diagnosis of posterior tibial tendonitis such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging tests provide detailed images of the foot and ankle to help the doctor determine the cause of the problem.
Treatment for patients with posterior tibial tendonitis depends on the extent of your condition. These treatment options include:
You can prevent foot pain by putting on suitable footwear. You can get over the counter shoe insert when your symptoms are mild or a customized one for medium to acute symptoms. There are several footwear products you can choose from such as:
Gel Heel Cups
These products are used to treat symptoms of heal pain and plantar fasciitis. Gel Heel Cups raises your hindfoot and reduces the force exerted on plantar fascia while walking or standing.
Arch supports are corrective devices inserted in the shoe to offer support for the natural arch foot. Arch supports can help reduce foot pain and enable you to move comfortably.
Metatarsal pads are used when you feel pain under the ball of your foot. These pads help distribute force on the midfoot and minimize pressure on painful locations on your foot. As a result, the pads help relieve foot pain and allow you to move around with ease.
Heel wedge are inserted in the back of your shoe. They raise your foot hence reduce pressure on the hindfoot which helps alleviate foot pain.
These are medications that reduce inflammations and are easily found over the counter. Your doctor can prescribe steroids or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain. NSAIDs can irritate your stomach and even lead to bleeding ulcers .Do not take NSAIDs if you are breastfeeding, pregnant and have stomach ulcers.
Your surgeon will examine your foot and recommend surgical intervention depending on the extent of the condition. In initial stages of Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, the surgeon will perform a simple debridement procedure to remove the sore tissue in order to allow the injured tendon to heal.
In case the arch of your foot has collapsed, a simple debridement procedure cannot correct the problem. Your surgeon will perform a reconstructive procedure by moving a nearby tendon to replace the damaged tendon to rectify the problem.
When the arch of your foot is too rigid, your surgeon will conduct a fusion procedure to hold the joint firmly in the position.
There are several home remedies that can help correct various foot problems related to tendonitis such as:
Apply warm olive oil on the affected area of your foot and gently massage it. Olive oil has a soothing effect to help reduce swelling and pain in your tendons as it improves blood circulation to your feet.
It is a natural herb that contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help relieve pain, tenderness and inflammation in your foot tendon. You can make chickweed paste by mixing it with water and apply it on your tendon for 5 minutes to enable it dry. Then use lukewarm water to wash it off. Alternatively, you can boil Chickweed in water and drink it severally in a day.
Vinegar Wraps can help reduce pain in your foot tendons. You can prepare Vinegar Wraps by making two mixtures of cold water and vinegar. Boil one of the mixtures. Then soak cotton towel in the boiled mixture, remove excess water in the towel and wrap the towel on your affected foot for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove the towel and soak it the cold mixture and repeat the process described above. Do this four times and apply a moisturizer on the affected foot for four days.
Put the affected foot in a bowl of sugar free carbonated water and repeat this process three times a day. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation in your foot tendons.
Cayenne Pepper contains capsaicin which is a natural pain reliever substance to help reduce pain in your foot tendon. Put Cayenne Pepper in bucket half full wit water and soak your affected foot for about 20 minutes and repeat it for 6 days to relieve foot pains.
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