Q. I am an active 55-year-old women who enjoys working out and jogging. About five months ago, I started having pain on the inside part of my heel. Now the pain has worsened, and my arch has started to fall. I tried a wider running shoe and an arch support, but my foot still hurts even with walking. Any suggestions?
A. The posterior tibial tendon is a very important tendon in the ankle and foot that turns the ankle inward and supports the arch. As some of us get older, this tendon can begin to tear — even without a traumatic event. Initially, pain is noted on the inside part of the heel.
Weakness of the tendon then develops, and this can lead to a painful collapsing arch. If caught early, posterior tibial tendon tears may be treated with orthotics or tendon transfers. If the deformity becomes rigid, the surgical procedure might require cutting of the bones (osteotomy) or fusing the bones together. I recommend you see a foot and ankle specialist so you can get back to pain-free activities.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net.