At Shoreline Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic surgeons use a truly collaborative approach so our patients have the benefit of multiple expert opinions, without having to go elsewhere to obtain them.
Shoreline Orthopaedics provides more comprehensive services, state-of-the-art options, technologies and techniques than anyone else in the area.
The following information is provided to help you understand what you can expect from us regarding policies and procedures, and also what is expected of you before and after treatment or procedures.
The ankle joint connects the leg and the foot. It is formed by three separate bones, the tibia, fibula and talus. The shinbone (tibia) supports most of a person's weight when standing. The outer bone (fibula) is the smaller bone of the lower leg. A small, irregular-shaped foot bone (talus) connects the tibia and fibula. Acting as a hinge, these bones form the ankle.
The foot is a complex, flexible structure that contains bones, joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all working together to enable movement and balance. The foot is divided into three sections, the forefoot, the midfoot and the hindfoot. The midfoot contains a pyramid-like group of bones, strengthened by tendons, muscles and ligaments to form three curves, or arches (medial, lateral and fundamental longitudinal), at the bottom of the foot.
Tendons are bands of tissue that attach muscle to bone. The posterior tibial tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot. The main function of this tendon is to hold up the arch and support the foot when walking. The posterior tibial tendon is one of the most important tendons of the leg.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is one of the most common problems of the foot and ankle. It occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed or torn, which impairs the tendon's ability to provide stability and support for the arch of the foot, resulting in flatfoot.
An acute injury, such as from a fall or overuse, can result in a tear or inflammation in the posterior tibial tendon. Repetitive use that occurs from participation in high-impact activities and sports, such as basketball, tennis, or soccer may also cause tears in the tendon. Once the tibial tendon becomes inflamed or torn, the arch slowly falls, or collapses, over time. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is more common in women, and in both men and women older than 40 years of age. Additional risk factors include obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
Common symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction include:
For most patients, symptoms will be relieved by appropriate nonsurgical treatment. If surgery is necessary, it may be as simple as removing the inflamed tissue or repairing a simple tear. Even with early treatment, pain may last 3 months or longer. For patients who have been experiencing pain for many months before seeking treatment, the discomfort may continue for another 6 months after treatment begins. If appropriate, a foot and ankle conditioning program may be prescribed. Nonsurgical treatment may include:
Surgical treatment should only be considered if pain has not improved after 6 months of appropriate treatment.
Most patients have good results from surgery, however, the amount of motion possible before surgery and the severity of the flatfoot are the main factors in determining the outcome. The more severe the problem, the longer the recovery time and the less likely a patient will be able to return to sports. For many patients, it may be a year before there is great improvement in pain.
With any surgery there are some risks, and these vary from person to person. Complications are typically minor, treatable and unlikely to affect your final outcome. Your orthopaedic surgeon will speak to you prior to surgery to explain any potential risks and complications that may be associated with your procedure.
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