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Portland Foot and Ankle

(503) 244-7894

Battle Ground Foot and Ankle

(360) 687-3668

Vancouver Foot and Ankle East

(360) 834-3707

Vancouver Foot and Ankle West

(360) 597-4223

Flatfoot-Adult Acquired

What Is PTTD?
PTTDThe posterior tibial tendon serves as one of the major supporting structures of the foot, helping it to function while walking. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is a condition caused by changes in the tendon, impairing its ability to support the arch. This results in flattening of the foot.

 

PTTD is often called “adult acquired flatfoot” because it is the most common type of flatfoot developed during adulthood. Although this condition typically occurs in only one foot, some people may develop it in both feet. PTTD is usually progressive, which means it will keep getting worse, especially if it isn’t treated early.

Causes
Overuse of the posterior tibial tendon is often the cause of PTTD. In fact, the symptoms usually occur after activities that involve the tendon, such as running, walking, hiking, or climbing stairs.

Symptoms
The symptoms of PTTD may include pain, swelling, a flattening of the arch, and an inward rolling of the ankle. As the condition progresses, the symptoms will change.

PTTD2For example, when PTTD initially develops, there is pain on the inside of the foot and ankle (along the course of the tendon). In addition, the area may be red, warm, and swollen.

Later, as the arch begins to flatten, there may still be pain on the inside of the foot and ankle. But at this point, the foot and toes begin to turn outward and the ankle rolls inward.

As PTTD becomes more advanced, the arch flattens even more and the pain often shifts to the outside of the foot, below the ankle. The tendon has deteriorated considerably and arthritis often develops in the foot. In more severe cases, arthritis may also develop in the ankle.

Non-surgical Treatment
Because of the progressive nature of PTTD, early treatment is advised. If treated early enough, your symptoms may resolve without the need for surgery and progression of your condition can be arrested.

In contrast, untreated PTTD could leave you with an extremely flat foot, painful arthritis in the foot and ankle, and increasing limitations on walking, running, or other activities.

In many cases of PTTD, treatment can begin with non-surgical approaches that may include:

  • Orthotic devices or bracing. To give your arch the support it needs, your foot and ankle surgeon may provide you with an ankle brace or a custom orthotic device that fits into the shoe.
  • Immobilization. Sometimes a short-leg cast or boot is worn to immobilize the foot and allow the tendon to heal, or you may need to completely avoid all weight-bearing for a while.
  • Physical therapy. Ultrasound therapy and exercises may help rehabilitate the tendon and muscle following immobilization.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • Shoe modifications. Your foot and ankle surgeon may advise changes to make with your shoes and may provide special inserts designed to improve arch support.

When Is Surgery Needed?
In cases of PTTD that have progressed substantially or have failed to improve with non-surgical treatment, surgery may be required. For some advanced cases, surgery may be the only option. Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine the best approach for you.

Our Locations


Vancouver Foot and Ankle West


Vancouver Foot and Ankle East


Battle Ground Foot and Ankle


Portland Foot and Ankle


Hours of Operation

Vancouver Foot And Ankle West

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

Closed

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

8:00 am-3:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Vancouver Foot and Ankle East

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

Closed

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-3:00 PM

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00pm (Every other Saturday)

Sunday:

Closed

Battle Ground Foot and Ankle

Monday:

8:00 AM-3:00 PM

Tuesday:

Closed

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Portland Foot and Ankle

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

7:00 AM-2:00 PM

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "My 3rd and 4th toes on the right foot were so painful to walk for about 5 years or so. Dr Belnap clipped the tendons in the toes and clipped the nails of both feet on follow up appointments, and now I can walk without pain. I wish I had known of this procedure sooner and will surely recommend this office to friends!

    Side note: I know there has been discussion on getting access to all the x-rays from every location. Is that going to be possible in the future? It would be very helpful for surgical planning, as it is always a good idea to have a copy of the x-rays in the operating room for surgical planning purposes. The other solution I could think of is printing off the x-rays on surgical patients and scanning them into their charts as a document, so you can access them from anywhere.

    Thanks for all your help!!"
    Nancy P.
  • "Dr Belnap is very professional. He helped with my foot pain. He corrected my issues and I was pain-free by the first follow up visit!"
    Dennis B.
  • "I came to Dr Hayes from a personal referral. He has done surgery on both of my feet for bunions. It has helped me to live my busy lifestyle. I have highly recommended him to my friends"
    Susan N.