"Help, My Arch is Collapsing!"

December 3, 2021
Dr. Yvonne Cha, Board Qualified Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Help, My Arches are Falling!

  • Joan (not a real name) presented to our office and said".....help Dr. Cha, my arch on my foot is falling! I don't recall any injury, I have always had flatfeet and have experienced no pain. But recently, I've noticed swelling, aching pain and lowering of my arch. Also, it appears that my foot is turning out, which doesn't occur on the other side. What can I do for this? I don't want it to get worse and the pain limits my walking."
  • Well Ms. Joan this condition is called Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD). It is an inflammation or deterioration of one of the major supporting tendons in your foot.
  • This condition is caused by changes in the tendon causing inability of the tendon to support your arch. This results in flattening of the foot, and symptoms include pain, swelling, flattening of the arch, and an inward rolling of the ankle.
  • As PTTD worsens, the arch flattens even more and the pain often shifts to the outside of your foot, below the ankle. The tendon may deteriorate considerably if untreated, often leading to arthritis in the foot and in more severe cases, in the ankle.
  • Since PTTD is progressive, early treatment is advised. If treated early enough, your symptoms may resolve without the need for surgery, and progression may be halted.
  • In many cases surgery is not always needed, treatment can begin with orthotics, immobilization, physical therapy and shoe modifications.

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