4 Things Pregnant Women Need To Know About Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Health & Medical Blog

Pregnancy leads to major changes throughout your body, including in your feet. One of the foot disorders that you can develop during pregnancy is posterior tibial tendonitis. Here are four things you need to know about it.

What is posterior tibial tendonitis?

Your posterior tibial tendon is a band of tissue that runs from the back of your ankle to the bases of your toe bones. This tendon's main functions are to hold up your arch and to keep your foot from rolling when you stand or walk. If the tendon gets stretched or torn, it can't perform these essential functions, and you'll be left with posterior tibial tendonitis.

What are the symptoms?

If you develop this condition, you'll feel pain in the area where the tendon is: on the outside of your ankle and along the bottom of your foot. In addition to this pain, you may notice that your arches have become flat, that your feet are turning outwards instead of remaining straight, or that you are overpronating (your feet are rolling inwards when you stand or walk).

People with this condition may also feel unstable when they walk, and may have trouble walking on uneven surfaces. You may develop a limp or become unable to walk for long distances. If you notice any of these changes, see a podiatrist right away.

Why does it occur during pregnancy?

Pregnancy causes changes in your body that can lead to posterior tibial tendonitis. Pregnancy hormones are released which loosen your ligaments and tendons, and this can weaken your posterior tibial tendonitis as well as the other tendons in your feet. Additional changes, like weight gain and changes in the way you walk, can put additional strain on your already-weakened tendons. Together, these factors can damage your tendon and lead to posterior tibial tendonitis.

Can it be treated?

Posterior tibial tendonitis is a chronic condition, but with proper treatment, it can be managed. To control inflammation, your podiatrist may tell you to use the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method. If this isn't enough, your foot and lower leg may need to be immobilized in either a plaster cast or a removable boot for between four and eight weeks.

Since posterior tibial tendonitis makes your arches flat, you'll need to wear footwear that provides good arch support. Your podiatrist may recommend wearing orthotics for additional support.

If you're pregnant and think you might have posterior tibial tendonitis, see a podiatrist


3 December 2015