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Find out what Tibialis Posterior Tendon surgery involves, and what to expect from your recovery
Under normal circumstances, the tibialis posterior muscle and tendon provide the main supporting structure to maintain the characteristic arch of the foot as well as provide propulsive power and stabilise the ankle and foot to resist sideways movements.
In circumstances where the tibialis posterior tendon has been torn surgeons may consider a tibialis posterior tendon repair.
Firstly, the surgeon will carefully make an incision following the line of the tendon in the lower leg. The surgeon will then make another careful incision through the tendon sheath that encapsulates the tibialis posterior tendon.
Once appropriately visualised, any significantly damaged tendon tissue which may be contributing to ongoing pain is carefully removed. Tears to the tendon will then be stitched to allow them to heal appropriately.
However, many tibialis tendon tears occur in individuals with poor tendon tissue quality and/or an inherited flat-foot position which places the tendon under significantly more load during everyday tasks and sports.
Due to this, the tendon repair may fail and some patients are better suited to a more invasive procedure to correct the underlying foot posture known as a tendon transfer operation and calcaneal (heel) osteotomy.
Once it is clear that the tendon repair has taken appropriately, a lengthy period of strengthening the tibialis posterior muscle and tendon is needed under strict supervision from physiotherapists.
With the appropriate, graded strengthening plan, the tibialis posterior muscle and tendon will grow in tensile strength and be able to take normal levels of load with weight bearing and walking again.
Depending on the severity of the initial injury and the success of the repair sportsmen and women may be able to successfully return to sport following six to twelve months of rehabilitation.