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Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

A Review

Beverley Durrant Podiatry, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England.

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Nachiappan Chockalingam Faculty of Health, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, England.

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Farina Hashmi Faculty of Health, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, England.

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Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a progressive deformity that can result in the development of a pathologic flatfoot deformity. Numerous publications have studied the effects of clinical interventions at specific stages of progression of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, but there is still uncertainty regarding the clinical identification of the condition. It is clear that more information regarding the etiology, progression, and risk factors of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is required. Clear evidence exists that suggests that the quality of life for patients with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is significantly affected. Furthermore, evidence suggests that early conservative intervention can significantly improve quality of life regarding disability, function, and pain. This would suggest that significant cost burden reductions could be made by improving awareness of the condition, which would improve early diagnosis. Early conservative intervention may help reduce the number of patients requiring surgery. This review focuses on the etiologic factors, epidemiologic features, and pathogenesis of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It aims to analyze, discuss, and debate the current understanding of this condition using the available literature. In addition, there is a discussion of the evidence base surrounding disease characteristics associated with the different clinical stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 176–186, 2011)

Corresponding author: Beverley Durrant, MSc Clin Pod Bio, BSc(Hons) Pod, Podiatry, University of Brighton, 49 Darley Rd, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2HR, England. (E-mail: b.durrant@brighton.ac.uk)