Anterior Tibial Tendonitis Treatment
The muscle that runs down the front of your shin is called the tibialis anterior muscle. It is attached to the bones of the foot by the tibialis anterior tendon. Together, the muscle and tendon work to lift the foot up. When the tendon becomes inflamed due to ankle trauma or overuse, tendonitis can lead to weakness in the muscle and rupture of the tendon. This can cause a condition known as a “drop foot.”
Anterior tibial tendonitis occurs more often in middle aged and older adults. Women are more likely to develop this condition. Individuals with high arches are also more vulnerable.
Conservative treatments are preferred. When the condition is diagnosed in its earliest stages, it will most likely respond. RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is used first to rest the tendons and start the healing process. Pain and inflammation are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Bracing and physical therapy may also be recommended. Stretching exercises for the calf muscle helps reduce the strain that is felt on the front of the ankle when flexing the foot.
Corticosteroid injections are not used in the treatment of tendonitis. They may have the reverse effect of causing the tendon to be more susceptible to injury by accelerating the degenerative process.
Surgery is an option for treatment when more conservative measures are not successful. The goal of surgery is debriding the tendon – removing damaged tendon material. The surgeon may also need to lengthen the calf muscle. If the tendon has ruptured, surgery is required to repair it.
Symptoms of Anterior Tibial Tendonitis
Anterior tibial tendonitis often evolves gradually beginning with stiffness or pain that becomes worse when you try to lift up your toes. This condition is characterized by deep aching pain that can be felt on the top of the foot and inner front of the ankle.
Your ankles may feel weak, and there may be swelling on the inner front ankle. Walking and other activities tend to exacerbate the symptoms. Neglecting the problem can eventually develop into foot drop as the ankle becomes weaker.
At the first sign of pain or discomfort in the inner front of your ankle, contact the office of foot and ankle expert, Dr. Stuart Mogul. For an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, schedule an appointment with the best foot and ankle surgeon in New York City. Call today to book your exam and consultation.