Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
The posterior tibial tendon aids in walking and supports the arch in your foot. When this tendon weakens and wears down from use, the arch collapses and the foot becomes flat. This is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) and it is the leading cause of flat feet in adults.
While flat feet frequently cause no pain or complications for the person who has them, the progression of PTTD can often lead to some achiness of the feet or, in more severe cases, severe hyperpronation and pain. Unfortunately, once the posterior tibial tendon begins to weaken, it will only get worse. It generally occurs in only one foot, but it can occur in both.
Our feet take a beating during our lifetime, so it is easy to overuse and wear down the muscles that keep us mobile. A first indication of PTTD may be some minor pain on the inside of the foot and ankle. The area may also be red and warm, and there may be some swelling. More advanced symptoms include more pronounced pain, a visually flattening of the arch and pain on the outside of the foot as the ankles turn in.
While PTTD cannot be reversed, your doctor may be able to help with pain and progression by suggesting changes in footwear or therapy.