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Torn posterial tibial tendon - surgery failure rate is 25%

Posted by Dirk D on 10/01/03 at 22:35 (131908)

About 6 months ago through an MRI my doctor figured that I have a torn tibial tendon. The first step was to wear one of these orthopedic boots. Initially it seemed to have done the job and my pain was gone. About 5-6 months later I have extreme pains and now my doctor tells me I need to go for surgery. I can clearly see that the arch in my foot is less compared to my other foot and the pain is getting worse every day. The surgery would bring me down for about 6 to 8 weeks according to my doctor and there will be a rehabilitation period of about 10 to 12 months. The surgery would basicaly use a different tendon and some heel bone needs to be cut out. The really scary part was when my doctor told me that there is a 25% failure rate. That is 1 out of 4 and the result is that your foot can't move anymore for the rest of your life. To be honest, I just turned 40, that was scary to me so I'm looking for anyone with similar experience and for more information.


Re: Torn posterial tibial tendon - surgery failure rate is 25%

BrianG on 10/02/03 at 23:11 (132029)

Hi Dirk,

I think that I would get a 2nd opinion asap !!!!! With odds like your doctor is quoting, and you know they are on the low side, I would be running to a pain management clinic, or doctor. The pain can get worse, trust me !!!

Good luck with the decision,

Re: Torn posterial tibial tendon - surgery failure rate is 25%

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/03/03 at 18:58 (132108)

Did your doc tell you where the tendon is torn? -- at or above the ankle or at the level of the arch. Is it completely torn? How did it tear?

Usually the FHL tendon is sewed onto the posterior tibial tendon if the tendon is in too bad shape to be repaired by itself. I don't know why your doc wants to take bone from your heel -- need more info on this.
25% sounds a bit high -- Is the doc telling this based on his experience or the overall rate?