FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics

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Adult Acquired Flat Foot Treatment Cairns

Adult acquired flat foot treatment Cairns is available at each of the FNQ Podiatry and Orthotics clinics. This is a condition that is associated with a progressive lowering the foot arch, over the course of a lifetime. Its correct name is Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction (Adult Acquired Flat Foot). Treatment is best provided at the outset of symptoms, as without early intervention, this condition can lead to a chronic condition which sometimes requires surgical intervention.

What Causes Adult Acquired Flat Foot (Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction)?

Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction gets worse over time.

The Posterior Tibialis tendon is arguably the most important structure in the foot/ankle, as its main role is based around supporting and strengthening the arch of the foot. The tendon is subject to high repetitive load over the course of a lifetime, and in conjunction with certain risk factors, can begin to slowly break-down. Although this degeneration can occur anywhere along the tendon, it is most commonly found directly behind the ankle bone, or where it attaches on to the top of the arch.

Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction progressively gets worse over time. Once the Posterior Tibialis tendon loses its strength, the foot and ankle begin to slowly roll in further. This in turn leads to further stretching and workload through the tendon, therefore making the issue worse. The condition is generally a chronic issue that occurs slowly over time, as opposed to being an acute injury e.g. ankle sprain. Given this, early intervention and appropriate Adult acquired flat foot treatment Cairns is vital, as it helps slow the progression down.

What Are The Symptoms Of Adult Acquired Flat Foot / Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction?

  • Pain along the inside of the foot, ankle or lower leg, generally with a gradual onset with no recent injury.
  • The pain can often present as a vague pain in the ankle or lower calf plus or minus the addition of swelling.
  • Pain when doing a calf raise (going up on to your tip toes on the affected side).
  • Progressive lowering of the arch. As the condition usually occurs on one foot, you can compare the arch to the unaffected side. There are rare instances in which both feet can be affected.
  • The foot/ankle pain often progresses as the day goes on and can temporarily settle with rest.
  • As the condition is associated with flat feet, there are often secondary symptoms involved such as heel pain, shin pain or knee pain.

Why Did I get Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction?

Flat Feet Can Cause Back Pain

Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors and is three times more likely to affect women than men. The following are some of the most common contributing risk factors:

  • Having flat feet from a young age.
  • Previous injury to the foot/ankle .
  • Sudden increase in activity e.g. going from being sedentary to running regularly without building into it.
  • Over-pronation (collapsed arches).
  • Tight calf muscles.
  • Poor footwear.
  • Sudden weight gain.
  • Poor muscle control.

Our Adult Acquired Flat Foot Treatment Cairns

Treat as early as possible, to prevent it becoming a chronic issue.

Due to its progressive nature, it’s important to treat Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction as early and as aggressively as possible. Our adult acquired flat foot treatment Cairns plans, are developed around the severity of the condition, as well as addressing the risk factors involved. The following is a list of common adult acquired flat foot treatment techniques used, at our Cairns clinics:

  • Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation
  • Strapping to help reduce workload through the tendon.
  • Footwear advice/modifications.
  • Dry needling/massage work to help loosen of the Posterior Tibial tendon and surrounding muscles.
  • In-shoe custom orthotics to reduce workload going through the tendon.
  • For advanced stages, custom Ankle-Foot Orthotics (Richie Braces) are required as they provide support further up the ankle compared to a normal foot orthotic.
  • Progressive strengthening program.
  • Activity modification.
  • For severe cases, moon boots are used for 4-6 weeks to help settle down discomfort and reduce inflammation.
  • Surgical repair of the tendon +/- joint fusion.

How Is Adult Acquired Flat Foot / Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction Diagnosed?

A thorough biomechanical examination and history will most commonly diagnose Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction. Depending on the severity of symptoms, you may be referred for an ultrasound +/- MRI to determine the extent of the degeneration and to make sure there aren’t any tears in the tendon.

Adult Acquired Flat Foot Treatment Cairns - Timeline to Recovery

This is largely dependent on how early your adult acquired flat foot treatment Cairns is initiated, and what the severity of the Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction is. In mild/early stage cases, aggressive intervention leads to a complete resolution of symptoms, and the patient can return back to their normal activities. If the Tibialis Posterior Tendon Dysfunction is of moderate severity, treatment significantly improves their symptoms, however, they will always have a slightly dysfunctional foot and ankle joint. This is generally addressed by wearing the appropriate footwear and following a strict, preventative strengthening program. In severe/chronic cases, surgical intervention is often required, as the tendon has lost all its tension and the foot no longer has the ability to function appropriately for day to day activities.

Our clinics provide effective adult acquired flat foot treatment Cairns for a range of patients. So, if you are concerned that you have Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction, please call our clinic today and we will get you on the road to recovery.