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Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

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What is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a change to the posterior tibial tendon, a tendon that assists with walking movements. This condition is caused by overuse of the tendon. As a result, the tendon is not able to provide arch support.


Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction most commonly affects one foot, but both feet can be affected. You might notice symptoms after doing activities that use the tendon, such as walking, climbing stairs, or running. Symptoms include:

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
  • Pain – At first, the pain is located on the inside of the foot and ankle. As the condition progresses, the pain shifts to the outside of the foot
  • Swelling
  • Flattening of the arch
  • Ankle rolling inward
  • Arthritis that can develop in the foot and ankle


Early treatment for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is important, because the condition progresses over time. Treatment methods include:

  • Orthotics or bracing to provide arch support
  • Physical therapy to rehabilitate the tendon
  • Immobilization, like a cast or boot, can force the foot to rest and allow the tendon to heal
  • Medications can reduce pain and inflammation

Surgery may be utilized if non-surgical treatments are not effective.

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