Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Prevention and Treatment of Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

Preventive strategies include the following:

  •     Warming up and stretching prior to or immediately following engaging in sports and activities. For specific advice on when to stretch, consult your physician or foot health professional.
  •     Keeping leg muscles strong to help prevent injuries to the lower limbs.
  •     Use of orthotics to support the medial longitudinal arch.
  •     To help prevent PTTD and  ensure that your feet are optimally protected, IPFH suggests wearing  properly selected and fitted, as part of an integrated approach, padded socks with shoes with non-slip outsoles and any inserts or orthotics prescribed or recommended by a doctor or foot health professional.

Treatment involves conservative measures such as the following, which should be tried first:

  •     Rest and cutting back on activities that worsen the pain.
  •     Foregoing high-impact exercise and changing to low-impact exercise such as bicycling, elliptical training or swimming.
  •     Icing the affected area.
  •     Taking anti-inflammatory medications, if tolerated.
  •     Wearing padded socks with orthotics or braces.
  •     Physical therapy to help strengthen the tendon.

For more serious cases, your doctor may prescribe a cast or walking boot, which allows the tendon to rest and the swelling to diminish. A steroid injection may be given to reduce pain, but only if less invasive therapy is not effective. The option of last resort is surgery, which usually is done only if pain persists after six months of less-invasive treatment. The type of surgery depends on where and to what extent the tendon is inflamed or damaged.

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