Posterior tibial tendonitis is an inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon and its sheath. It extends from the inside of the ankle to the arch of the foot.

Tendons are fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones. The posterior tibialis tendon helps maintain the arch of the foot and is used to turn the foot in (the medical term for this is “inversion”) and to help flex it (plantar flexion). Injury to this tendon can result in loss of function, primarily affecting push off from the ground with walking and running.

Risk Factors

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam, paying special attention to the foot. Posterior tibialis tendonitis can be difficult to diagnose because pain in the ankle and foot can be due to many causes.

The doctor will try to feel the tendon through your skin and note how the foot moves and handles resistance to moving the foot inwards. He or she will look at the foot from behind and from the side and see how flat the arch is. The doctor may also ask you to try to stand on the ball of your foot. If you cannot do this you are likely to have a problem with your posterior tibial tendon.

Tests may include:

Goals of treatment:

You may be referred to an podiatrist. Early treatment and correction of the underlying cause improves the prognosis.

Treatment may include:

To help prevent posterior tibialis tendonitis, practice good foot care: