Foot Pain & Posterior Tibial Tendon Rupture
Never ignore foot pain. A recent case of tibialis posterior tendon rupture is a case in point.
A 76 year old lady was brought to me by her daughter because she could barely walk and was in constant pain. She had been prescribed anti-inflammatories and sleeping tablets for ‘the arthritis.’
At her only previous visit to me in 2003, I had diagnosd the potential for flat foot related problems and made orthotics. The lady never kept any follow up appointments.
This time, the lady described her symptoms as “the left foot is giving me hell. Over the past year, it’s been getting gradually worse and now I can’t wear my shoes.”
When I asked about the previous treatment, she informed me that she gave up with orthotics because they didn’t fit easily into her shoes.
When I examined the foot, it was completely flat and rolled over and the arch was non-existent. The lady was unable to stand for more than a few seconds and she couldn’t manage more than two steps across the room. In addition she was unable to raise up onto tiptoe.
As I traced a path along the inside of the foot up behind her ankle to the lower part of her calf she experienced significant pain. This is the path of the Posterior Tibial Tendon, the main tendon to help form and hold the arch of the foot.
I immediately sent the lady for X-rays and an Ultrasound scan. The scan revealed a rupture of the Posterior Tibial Tendon.
Referral for surgery has been completed and now we wait for the outcome, except that she has developed a problem with her eyes that needs treating before any surgery can take place.
The moral of this story? Follow up is vital from both sides of the medical equation. Ignoring foot pain can have serious consequences, so managing it is a team effort.
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