Posterior tibial tendonitis is a condition that occurs on one of the tendons located on the inner side of the ankle. The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf down to the back of the inside of the ankle, attaching to the bone in the middle of the foot. Damage or injury to the tibial tendon is considered to be the most common source for foot problems.
Tendonitis is medically defined as the irritation, inflammation, and swelling of a tendon due to trauma from an injury, or an underlying condition. Posterior tibial tendonitis results when the tibial tendon becomes damaged or injured, occasionally becoming ruptured.
Most often, posterior tibial tendonitis is caused by an overuse of the feet during physical activities such as running or strenuous sports like soccer. With excessive use, the tibial tendon may begin to irritate, eventually becoming inflamed and swollen, causing pain on the inside of the lower leg to the inside of the ankle. If left untreated, this condition can develop into another condition known as adult acquired flatfoot, since the tibial tendon functions by supporting the arch of the foot. When the tibial tendon is torn, it fails to properly hold up the navicular bone, which then results in the decreased arch and a flat foot.
This condition may worsen with physical activities and continuous exercise as putting additional force on the foot may further irritate the tibial tendon and cause further complications.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez