Flashback Fridays 14: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

January-March 2013. I returned from Disney with foot pain that was preventing me from walking properly. Climbing stairs was almost impossible. Range of motion of the left ankle was severely compromised. I had to go see a podiatrist. He promptly diagnosed Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. There is a tendon on the inside on the lower leg that wraps around the back of the inner ankle bone before attaching into part of the arch of the foot. You can get some inflammation and scar tissue forming in the tendon sheath if it gets strained too frequently. Happens to folks who over-pronate (check), are flat-footed (check) and have hyper mobile lateral movement in the mid foot (I guess that is me as well). His first recommendation was “stop running”. But that wouldn’t fix it. This doesn’t heal. It will get worse no matter what I do. Only surgery would fix it…but the results are frequently not very good and most runners have to stop running. Great. He ordered an MRI. The results were disturbing. The tendon wasn’t inflamed. It was “shredding” Not what I wanted to hear. Since he assumed that I wouldn’t stop running (correct-especially since it wouldn’t fix the problem), he suggested orthotics. Basically build something huge that would prevent my foot from over pronating and would stabilize my foot to take the stress off the tendon. I was willing to try it. Got the orthotics and stuffed them in my shoes. Did not feel good at all. But they were also quite wide for my shoes. This shoved my feet towards the outside of the shoe. This resulted is the sense that I could roll my ankle with every step (and I did a couple of times). So I got a pair of wider shoes. This fixed that problem, but it felt like I was running in clown shoes. And the feet hurt even worse. “I just need to give the orthotics time for my feet to get used to them”. That was it. That was my last hope…

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