Flat foot is a pretty common disorder of the foot, but most of the time merely having a lower mid-foot (arch) or flatter foot is not necessarily a problem. What is a problem is if it is progressive and becomes painful, then it is known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or adult acquired flatfoot. In such cases the arch of the foot becomes progressively lower and the rearfoot rolls inwards. This is usually followed by pain in the arch of the foot and in the rearfoot region. Those with this also find walking is a lot is a lot and walking consumes a lot of energy leading to lots of fatigue.The cause of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is not really totally, however it is an issue where the posterior tibial tendon and muscle are unable to just do the task that it is designed for.
The principal role of the posterior tibial tendon is to hold up the arch of the foot and stop the heel rolling inwards. For some reason the muscle and tendon unit are unable to just do their task any more, bringing about the progressive nature of this condition.The treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is sort of urgent and should be dealt with as soon as it possibly can. The reason being the disorder is progressive and it will reach a stage where conservative methods do not work and surgery is the only choice. Even though the surgical outcomes are likely to be acceptable, they do involve the fusion of some joints to stop the disorder getting worse, that does have some long term limitations on gait and function, so is best avoided. To avoid the surgical option, treatments must be started early. This will likely involve foot supports that are very supportive and position the foot back in the correct direction. Exercises are also recommended, but should never be used rather than foot supports, as they are crucial to stop this problem from getting worse.