Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is one of several terms to describe a painful, progressive flatfoot deformity in adults. Other terms include posterior tibial tendon insufficiency and adult acquired flatfoot.
The term adult acquired flatfoot is more appropriate because it allows a broader recognition of causative factors, not only limited to the posterior tibial tendon, an event where the posterior tibial tendon looses strength and function.
The adult acquired flatfoot is a progressive, symptomatic (painful) deformity resulting from gradual stretch (attenuation) of the tibialis posterior tendon as well as the ligaments that support the arch of the foot.
Most flat feet are not painful, particularly those flat feet seen in children. In the adult acquired flatfoot, pain occurs because soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) have been torn. The deformity progresses or worsens because once the vital ligaments and posterior tibial tendon are lost, nothing can take their place to hold up the arch of the foot.
Read more ...