Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Fort Worth and Weatherford, TX
The posterior tibial tendon is one of the major supporting structures of the foot. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is a condition caused by changes in the tendon, affecting its ability to hold up and support the arch.This has also been referred to as Adult Acquired Flatfoot (AAFF) because it is the most common type of flatfoot developed during adulthood. This condition usually involves only one foot but has been shown to develop in both feet for some patients. PTTD is usually progressive (continues to worsen) if it is not treated early.
Flexible flatfoot is one of the most common types of flatfoot in childhood and continues into adulthood. It typically occurs in both feet and progresses in severity throughout the adult years. As the condition worsens, the soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) of the arch may stretch/tear and can become painful and inflamed.
Flexible refers to the foot position when standing, meaning the foot is flat during weight bearing and returns to normal when non weight bearing.
Rigid refers to the foot staying in a flat position during weight bearing and non weight bearing with little to no movement of the joints. This is the end stage of flatfoot and usually encompasses arthritic joints throughout the foot and sometimes the ankle.
Other characteristics seen with flatfoot include:
In diagnosing flatfoot (Flexible, PTTD, Rigid) your surgeon will examine the foot and observes how it looks when you stand as well as when you sit. Your surgeon gently press on areas of the foot and ankle to determine areas of discomfort.
X-rays are usually taken to determine the severity of the disorder. If PTTD or flexible flatfoot is determined an MRI may be ordered to determine the extend of the pathology as well as evaluate the joints and soft tissues in the foot. If rigid flatfoot is determined a CT scan may be ordered to evaluate the extent of the arthritis in the foot/ankle. The advanced imaging will also assist in surgical planning should surgery be warranted.
If you are diagnosed with flexible flatfoot but you do not have any symptoms, your surgeon will explain what you might expect in the future.
If you experience symptoms with flexible flatfoot, your surgeon may recommend nonsurgical treatment options.
Due to the progressive nature of PTTD, early treatment is advised. If treated early sometimes your symptoms may resolve without the need for surgical intervention and further progression of your condition. However, untreated PTTD could leave you with an extreme flatfoot, painful arthritis in the foot and ankle, and severe limitations with daily activities. Often times if no treatment has been initiated conservative and non surgical approaches may assist in the limitations.
Rigid flatfoot develops secondary to progressive flexible flatfoot or PTTD symptoms. Severe flatfoot and arthritis of the foot and ankle is the result which limits daily activities. Often times if no treatment has been initiated conservative and non surgical approaches may assist in the limitations.
If non-surgical approaches fail to adequately relieve the pain and other symptoms, surgery may be necessary. Your surgeon will select the best procedure to repair the flexible flatfoot, PTTD, or Rigid flatfoot. A variety of surgical techniques are available to correct these conditions and improve foot and ankle function.