Have you been noticing pain and swelling along the inside of your ankle when running? This pain may be the result of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, a serious tendon injury that requires prompt treatment.
What does the posterior tibial tendon do?
The posterior tibial tendon extends from the calf down to the bottom of the foot. When you walk or run, the tibial tendon keeps the arch of your foot from collapsing. In those suffering from posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, also known as PTTD, the tendon is no longer able to do its job, and the arch of the foot slowly begins to collapse.
In the early stages of PTTD, symptoms are primarily due to the injured tendon. You may notice swelling, and pain on the inside portion of your ankle, and your foot may roll slightly inwards when you walk. You may also find that running causes an increase in symptoms, due to the high-impact nature of the sport.
Over time, you will begin to notice more pain on the outside of the foot. The arch of your foot becomes flat, and your ankle rolls inwards significantly. You may even begin to develop arthritis in the ankle.
What should you do if you suspect you have PTTD?
If you're suffering from PTTD-like symptoms, it's important that you head to your podiatrist office, like Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd. PTTD is diagnosed with a physical examination. Your doctor may check your foot's flexibility and look for a limited range of motion. They may also have you place your foot flat on the ground. In a healthy foot, the fifth toe and part of the fourth toe should be visible from behind. In a patient with PTTD, the front of the foot juts outwards while the ankle rolls inwards. Therefore, more toes are usually visible from behind.
What can be done about PTTD?
If caught early, PTTD can usually be treated with a combination of custom orthotics, an ankle brace, anti-inflammatory medication, and rest. The recovery time can be anywhere from three to six months. In more advanced cases, surgery to lengthen or replace the tendon may be required. Recovery time from surgery can take up to a year.
To prevent an injury like PTTD from occurring in the first place, regular strength training and stretching are key. Running puts significant stress on bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. If any part of the body is weak and unable to function normally, more stress will be placed on other parts of the body. This increase in stress can lead to injury, such as PTTD. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches may seem boring, but they're a great way to reduce your risk of injury.
It's important to treat PTTD as soon as symptoms arise. The long recovery time can be made shorter by catching the problem early on.Share
14 November 2014
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