The tendon that crosses the ankle joint at the medial ankle and foot is called the posterior tibial tendon. Posterior tibial tendonitis is a very common etiology and cause of medial ankle pain, especially if the patient has a flat foot type, called pes planus deformity. The posterior tibial tendon is overused, and if an MRI is ordered, it usually shows chronic partial tears, edema surrounding the tendon sheath, and tendon degeneration. Like plantar fasciitis, it can also exist in acute, subacute, and chronic forms. Causes include middle age, weight gain, and overuse through activity or sports.
The pathology responds very well to treatment, which includes orthotics, ankle braces, CAM boots, and physical therapy. Cortisone injections into the tendon sheath are very helpful to decrease inflammation, but at no time should the tendon ever be injected. Advanced imaging such as an MRI may be ordered to rule out acute tendon tears in the posterior tibial tendon, which would then be more of a surgical treatment plan to repair the tendon.
However, most cases are non-surgical and the physicians at One Oak Medical will develop the right treatment plan for you.