Friday, July 13, 2007

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

Overstretched and going to ground. Doesn't that about sum up this aging thing? Well here's another thing going wrong in the half-century set.

The posterior tibial tendon basically comes from the calf around the back of your inner ankle bone where it stretches over the inside edge of the foot and holds the arches up. Injure yours through overweight, overstress, or just plain too many years of living, and the little darling stretches or tears and poof! arch hits the floor. The loss of the arch stresses your ankles and drags your knees inward along with the feet and the ankles. The result? Foot pain, lateral knee pain, and an inability to stand on your toes.

Shoot, who knew? If you're wondering about the state of your arches, check out your wet footprint. Or look for the "Too many toes sign." Get a buddy to stand behind you and look at your feet. A positive 'too many toes sign' is present if more than the pinky toe can be viewed from the back. This toeful look is created by the outward splay of a foot caving inward due to a fallen arch.

And it's not necessarily just the midlife women suffering from PTTD. The other day, a phys.ed. teacher, male, 30 y.o., came in complaining of right ankle pain. This developed after he walked all day long on a trip in flip flops (no arch supports in those) carrying a backpack. Sure enough, this young fellow had 'too many toes' on his right foot and had injured his posterior tibial tendon through overuse/misuse during his daylong trek.

No comments: