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Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Posted by Janet O-E. on 11/21/04 at 18:20 (164505)

I have recently had surgery for Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. I have had cortisone, arch supports, 'the boot', several anti-inflammatory medications, and finally surgery. My doctor assures me that it was necessary as the tendon was ruptured in several places and scarred. However, the recovery isn't enjoyable and I'm looking for support! Thanks

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Dr. Z on 11/21/04 at 22:24 (164520)

This is a very long recovery, Cast, phyical therapy etc. Did you have to have a tendon graph to repair the tendon. Patients will typical do very well but the recovery is a long one. Good luck

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Janet O-E. on 11/23/04 at 08:15 (164594)

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Yes, I had a tendon graph and a bone graph. I am in the cast right now. I do have some concerns, however. I am a teacher and a mother of three. Being sedentary is almost impossible. I haven't applied direct pressure, but have slipped and fallen on my cast more times than I'd like to mention. I'm not feeling pain, but am worried about accidental injury. How much does the cast protect? Thanks

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Phyllis S on 11/29/04 at 19:35 (164902)

Hi....I had a posterior tibial tendon repair on November 1, 2004. The recovery is slow...I am now in the black air cast, when inflated it seems to help with support. If I am on my feet too long the area becomes purplish-red and hurts. I am overweight, need to stay off my feet but that is not always possible. I am trying to be optimistic, I hope things will improve, it is almost a month...Let me know how u r doing.

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Janet O-E. on 12/02/04 at 17:12 (165097)

Oh Gosh, I had mine done November 12th and go next week to get another non-walking cast on. How long do you have to be in the air cast? Did you have physical therapy? Thanks

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Katherine Y on 12/08/04 at 15:12 (165368)

Hello. I have had problems with my tendon for 6 years now (due to years of improper running). I stopped running 2 years ago and have limited my exercize activity to biking and the elipitcal machine, but my pain has not subsided. I have also seen 2 doctors (seeing a specialist in Dec.) and have custom orthotics. I'm wondering those of you who have had surgery how bad your PT tendon was when your doctor opted for surgery? Is surgery a last resort or more common? I'm terrified of surgery (I've never had one - I'm 22 years old) and even more terrified of not being able to walk for months. Would you all mind describing your pre-surgery symptoms and surgery experiences so I can get an idea of if I am close to needing one and what to expect? Thanks!

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Janet O-E. on 12/08/04 at 23:03 (165391)

Hi Katherine,

I had spent several years on an old stair master - the up and down type. I was warned of injury at the time, but didn't listen. I teach school and was to the point where I was limping by noon. My ankle was always swollen and the pain would show up in different locations due to my arch falling. My co-workers were noticing that I appeared to be 'shorter on one side'. That scared it, my tendon rupture was affecting a lot more than my foot. I'm still in a cast (4 weeks on Friday), so I can't tell you if it was all worth it or not. It was 5 months before surgery was decided for me, we had tried the boot, cortisone, and lots of drugs. The boot was horrible for me, but it was a nice transition before surgery. After 3 weeks I can do about anything :) Let us know your decision!!! Good luck!

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Katherine Y on 12/09/04 at 11:55 (165399)

Janet -
Thanks for the reply! I'm having lots of pain and I feel like my whole foot is out of wack, but I don't have swelling and I don't think my tendon has ruptured - torn perhaps, but not ruptured. I have high arches and they don't appear to be falling. Most of my pain in higher up in the tendon, just behind my ankle bone. There also does not appear to be much swelling like in your case. The surgury for your foot is only keeping you off of it for 7 weeks? I thought it was more like 6 months with no walking, which is part of the reason why I hope to never have to have surgery. What was so horrible about the boot? A removeable cast might be my next option since I've tried orthotics and PT. Please keep us updated on your recovery status! Katherine

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Janet O-E. on 12/09/04 at 19:09 (165413)


I went to the doctor today...it will be 4 weeks after my surgery tomorrow. He took off my cast, x-rayed my ankle, and showed me before and after x-rays. It was amazing! I felt like the 'foot swan'. My foot is actually aligned in every aspect, he did do a bone graft on the outside of my foot that aided. He put me in a boot, but still no weight and on crutches. I go back in two weeks and can put 1/2 weight on it. He said I can start walking in 8 weeks (hopefully) and PT will be done at home, on my own. I was really surprised at how little it ached to move my foot up and down. I REALLY think that I am having success because I listened to the doctor.

My pain was also behind my ankle bone, and I didn't have swelling there all the time. Because my tendon was allowing my arch to fall, the pain moved around. Have you had an MRI? They are expensive, but show the real truth! I, like you, dreaded being off my feet...but am really excited to finally feel well! If my other foot starts bothering me I will opt for surgery (I also said that after my first child was born, but felt differently when I got pregnant 3 years later :)

Good luck, please keep me posted. Nobody really knows what you are going through! Are you still running? I was still walking daily and limping home. I would have never stopped if the doctor wouldn't have made me. Thinking of you! Janet

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Katherine Y on 12/10/04 at 17:33 (165458)

Janet -

I have not been running in almost 3 years. I have tried to run a few times when my tendon was doing really well, but if I felt pain I stopped. I'm not quite in limping-stage - walking it usually not that painful, except that I took dance classes this fall and I don't think my tendon liked leaping around in ballet shoes very much. Unfortunately, I'm not going to dance in the spring : (

I had an MRI done with my first doctor and he, along with the second doctor I saw at Duke University, didn't have much to say about it at all. Nothing like 'oh wow, that's very inflamed.' This was 3 years ago, I suppose it might be wise to have another one done - it's just such a pain to schedule since I'll only be home for Xmas for 1 week over the break between semesters. Niether of the 2 doctors I saw had much to say about my tendon except that it was the PT tendon. When I saw the second one it had been doing really well so I didn't have much to complain about in terms of pain at the moment. HOpefully this specialist I'm seeing Dec. 22 will be on the ball.

Do you think I would be able to push on my arch and know it if was in the process of falling?

Thanks for all of your insight! It's nice to have someone to talk to who can understand what I'm going through : )


Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Janet O-E. on 12/10/04 at 18:39 (165460)

Who did the MRI, a podiatrist? I went to a podiatrist for several months, then an orthapedic who did the MRI and referred me to a different podiatrist. Some doctors are more cautious. My arch never actually hurt the worst, I don't think pushing on it will necessarily tell you much. I'm not sure though. Who is the specialist you are seeing? Lots of luck! Janet

Re: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Katherine Y on 12/11/04 at 08:07 (165475)

THe first doctor I saw was a foot and ankle orthopedic. He actually said that I had a tarsal coalition in my foot (a defect I've had from birth where 2 bones on the top of my foot are joined). He never really mentioned my PT tendon pain - he just said that would go away with fixing the coalition. He was also a specialist on coalitions and wanted to try all of these things on me - so then I decided to get a second opinion, mostly because he didn't seem to address my tendon pain but only an area of my foot that was pain free! So my second doctor looked at the same MRI and said he didn't see any tarsal coalitions and that I would probably have flat feet if that was the case. The second doctor was a foot and ankle sports medicine doctor. My tendon was doing great at the time I saw him and he said he couldn't find anything wrong with it at all, but recommended PT and custom orthotics (I was already wearing over the counter Birkenstock ones). He said that if my tendon didn't get better with the orthotics to see a foot and ankle specialist - so I made an appt. for 6 months later. Well, since I'm not better, that is who I'm seeing the 22nd. His name is Dr. Easily at Duke University. So I took my MRI to the second doctor and I have it to take to the third. I'm wondering though if I'll need another MRI since it's been 2 years since my first one. My tendon is not really that much worse then it was when i had the first MRI done, but it's gotten better and worse again since then. Since my doctor is in Durham and I'm in school in Davidson (2 hour drive) it might be difficult to go to my appt., get an MRI, and go back in one week. Hopefully he'll give me some miracle brace or something. Have you heard of the Arizona cast? I'm wondering if that would work for me and I found out that Duke does casting for it. Any ideas?

Katherine : )