Foot Tendonitis Treatment & Surgery | Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital

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Foot Tendonitis Treatment

Foot tendonitis can sometimes happen in athletes, runners and people who are on their feet a lot. Foot tendonitis is a classic overuse injury and impacts a specific tendon within the foot, the posterior tibial tendon.

Posterior tibial foot tendonitis is a common problem of one of the tendons on the inner side of the ankle. The posterior tibial muscle attaches to the back of the shin bone; the posterior tibial tendon connects this muscle to the bones of the foot. This particular tendon assists in upholding the arch of your foot and also helps prevent the feet from too much side-to-side movement.

Your orthopedic specialist or sports medicine physician can diagnose your foot tendonitis and provide the most appropriate foot tendonitis treatment that will have you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Foot Tendonitis

Most commonly, patients with posterior tibial foot tendonitis complain of pain and swelling on the inward side of the foot and ankle, and occasionally have an unsteady gait. Many patients report a recent ankle sprain, although some will have had no recent injury.

As posterior tibial foot tendonitis progresses, the arch of the foot can flatten and the toes begin to point outwards. This is the result of the posterior tibial tendon not doing its job to support the arch of the foot. It is important to work with a qualified orthopedic specialists to identify the proper foot arch injury treatment for you.

Your physician will do a physical exam of your foot tendonitis symptoms and possibly order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine if the tendon is partially or fully torn.

Early Foot Tendonitis Treatment

The initial treatment of posterior tibial foot tendonitis is focused on resting the tendon to allow for healing. Unfortunately, even eliminating everything but normal walking may not adequately allow for the tendon to rest sufficiently. In these cases, the ankle must be immobilized to allow for sufficient rest so that the foot tendonitis can start to repair itself.

Options for early treatment of foot tendonitis include:

  • Shoe inserts and arch supports
  • Walking boots
  • Cast
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen

Treating foot tendonitis with surgery is approached cautiously by Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital surgeons. In early stages of posterior tibial foot tendonitis, some surgeons may recommend a procedure to clean up the inflammation called a debridement. During a debridement, the inflamed tissue and abnormal tendon are removed to help allow for healing of the damaged tendon.

Advanced Posterior Tibial Foot Tendonitis

In more advanced stages of posterior tibial foot tendonitis, the arch of the foot has collapsed and a simple tendon debridement may be insufficient to correct the problem. Reconstruction of the posterior tibial tendon is occasionally performed. In a reconstructive procedure, a neighboring tendon is moved to replace the damaged posterior tibial tendon. This procedure is often combined with a bone reconstruction.

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