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Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

The Adult Acquired Flat Foot

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One of the worst kinds of flat foot is due to the weakening or rupture of a tendon called the posterior tibialis. The condition is known by several names including posterior tibialis dysfunction (PTD), posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and tibialis posterior dysfunction. The weakening of this tendon leads to an “Adult Acquired Flatfoot” – a progressive flattening of one or both feet.

This condition can lead to severe changes in foot position and function. The collapse of the arch can lead to arthritis, ankle pain, foot pain, fatigue, tendon pain and changes in shape of the foot. It can even cause knee, hip and back pain due to changes in gait.

We can usually treat PTD with conservative treatment, and surgery is rarely indicated. It is important, however, to be seen as soon as possible for a complete evaluation to help prevent damage to the foot.

Diagnostic testing will include muscle tests, gait evaluation and x-rays. An MRI may be ordered to evaluate the integrity of the tendon. If the tendon is injured we will discuss options for treatment or repair of the tendon. Sometimes a period of immobilization is necessary.

Most PTD is treated long-term with orthotic devices. Very specialized orthotics with greater width and several special features designed to offer greater control than standard orthotics are often needed. Standard orthotic devices usually fail in treating PTD. Sometimes orthotics cannot provide enough control and in those cases we prescribe Ankle-Foot Orthotics (AFOs) and/or shoe modifications for greater control and pain relief.

We are specialists in treating severe flat foot deformities including PTD. Our goal is to treat the problem without surgery. The sooner you visit us, the more likely we will be able to help you with conservative treatment.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have posterior tibialis dysfunction (PTD), call today for an appointment in our Seattle office.

Posterior Tibial Tendon
Figure 1 - Posterior Tibial Tendon

Flat Foot to Posterior Tibial Dysfunction
Figure 2 - Flat foot secondary to Posterior Tibial Dysfunction

Flat Foot to Posterior Tibial Dysfunction
Figure 3 - Flat foot secondary to Posterior Tibial Dysfunction

Dysfunction Seattle
Figure 2 - Heel does not turn inward with single leg toe rise maneuver due to Posterior Tibial Dysfunction

A list of articles from the medical literature related to the use of orthotics in the treatment of Posterior Tibialis Dysfunction is available on our bibliography page.

The doctors at the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington are among the Puget Sound area’s best and most experienced in treating flat feet both conservatively and surgically. Don’t live with pain due to flat feet. Call today for an appointment in our Seattle office.

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All pages on this website © 2005-2013
Douglas Hale, DPM & Lawrence Huppin, DPM
Foot and Ankle Center of Washington, Seattle
The material provided on this web site is for informative purposes only.
If you need specific medical advice, please contact the office for an appointment.

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