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Tendons connect muscles to bones and stretch across joints, enabling you to bend that joint. One of the most important tendons in the lower leg is the posterior tibial tendon. This tendon starts in the calf, stretches down behind the inside of the ankle and attaches to bones in the middle of the foot. The posterior tibial tendon helps hold your arch up and provides support as you step off on your toes when walking. If this tendon becomes inflamed, over-stretched or torn, you may experience pain on the inner ankle and gradually lose the inner arch on the bottom of your foot, leading to flatfoot.

Shoe Recommendations:
Shoes with better arches are necessary. The New Balance Rollbar also helps take stress off this tendon.

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Posterior tibial tendonitis is typically caused by many different physical activities done incorrectly and in extreme measures such as running, dancing, and swimming; arthritis can also inflame the posterior tendon causing pain. A vehicle accident or an incident involving a sudden stopping motion, as seen in sports like soccer, and basketball, can lead to injury and subsequent posterior tendonitis. However, the greatest reason for this condition is the simple act of walking.

Symptoms of posterior tibial tendonitis include ankle and inner foot pain, as well as swelling over the posterior tendon and ankle. An individual suffering with this painful condition may also have an irregular gait. As the tibial tendon weakens it can develop into flat foot as the arch of the foot looses stabilization and the toes start pointing inward. The midfoot may become tender, especially during use.

Treatment includes total rest and immobilization for the tibial tendon. A difficult task since this includes not walking. Options may be offered such as arch supports and shoe inserts, walking boots, or the placement of a cast. The appropriate choice in foot gear is also very important. It can offer the necessary stiff platform to prevent motion of the foot and thus decrease the inflammation affecting the posterior tendon. New Balance shoes offer many types of shoes that can help with this condition. One of the New Balance walking shoes we recommend is the New Balance 846 Motion Control. One of the New Balance running shoes we recommend is the New Balance 1080 Cushioning Running Shoe. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, as well as physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the tibial tendon and attached muscle. Surgical options are a last resort, often including debridement of the chronically inflamed tissue; tendon repair with tissue grafting; realignment of the displaced foot bones; or fusion of a select bones.