What is Tendinitis?
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon (the cord-like structure that connects muscle to bone). Tendinitis (also spelled tendonitis) can occur in the foot and ankle and can be caused by using the msucle too much or with excessive and repetitive excercise. Other factors can cause tendinitis such as prolonged inactivity or weight gain as well as foot deformities (e.g. flat feet or high-arched rigid feet).
Tendons under excessive strain will begin to cause the outer covering of the tendon to swell or develop small tears. Tendinitis can start out with episodic pain, but with continued use of the part, the tendon will be painful whenever it is used.
There are four major tendons in the foot and ankle that commonly are involved. Each will be discussed briefly.
This affects the large tendon that connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. Pain will usually occur as you lift your heel off the ground while walking or when going up steps. This condition may be associated with bursitis (inflammation of the soft tissue in the back of the heel) or a “pump bump” (an enlargement of bone that rubs against the back of your shoe).
Posterior Tibial Tendinitis:
This affects the tendon that inserts under the arch and helps hold it up. Pain under the arch will be felt when you push off to take a step. People with flatfeet are affected the most. Overweight women are prone to this tendinitis as well. It is not uncommon for an injury to partially tear this tendon sheath which easily becomes a chronic problem.
Anterior Tibial Tendinitis:
This affects the main tendon on the front of the ankle that lifts your foot during gait. Pain is felt in the instep when going down stairs or downhill. This tendinitis is also associated with stop and start sports like tennis.
This affects the tendon on the outer portion of your ankle and foot.
Pain will be felt with standing or when pushing off to take a step. This condition is almost always created by injury.
When talking to Dr. Manohar at either the Brandon or Zephyrhills office, he may ask you about the kind of footwear that you normally wear, when do your ankles and feet hurt, and about your overall health. While the examination happens, the doctor may take x-rays to find small fractures in the bones. Special cases might involve an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to find possible tears in the tendon or tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath).
Treatment of tendinitis:
Tendinitis is readily treatable with rest or change of activity to a non-impact sport like swimming or bicycling. Ice should be used when symptoms begin. Heat may be used after a few days. Dr. Manohar will usually prescribe an anti-inflammatory medicine that should be taken exactly as prescribed. In some cases he may inject the tendon sheath with medicine (cortisone) to reduce inflammation except in the case of Achilles tendonitis where injections are to be avoided.
Dr. Manohar may prescribe a heel lift or orthotic to optimally position your foot to reduce tendon strain (see previous topic of the month). Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist for treatment. Some severe cases of tendonitis will require immobilization with a below the knee cast for a period of 2-4 weeks. Finally, surgery may be performed to repair partial or complete tears in the tendon or to address severe tenosynovitis.
If you wish to schedule an appointment at the Brandon or Zephyrhills offices for the treatment of tendinitis, please call Dr. Manohar at his Brandon office (813) 502-5904 or in Zephyrhills (813) 782-3233. Alternately, you can use the website form by clicking the button below.
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Dr. Manohar has been in private practice as a Podiatrist in Zephyrhills since 2001, treating Foot and Ankle Pain including Diabetic Foot Pain and Neuropathy, as well as, providing routine Diabetic Foot Care.
Dr. Manohar is board certified by the American Board of medical specialties in Podiatric Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Dr. Manohar resides in Temple Terrace, Florida.
Dr. Manohar specializes in treating foot and ankle pain, Plantar Fasciitis and Heel spurs, Neuromas, Peripheral Neuropathy, Ingrown toenails, Non healing wounds, corns, calluses, Warts, Cysts, Toenail fungus.