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Tibialis anterior tendinopathy

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is an over-use injury that produces pain at the front of the leg where the tibialis anterior muscle and its tendon are positioned.

What is tibialis anterior tendinopathy?

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is an over-use injury that is typically seen in runners, especially those who do a lot of down-hill running. When the tibialis anterior tendon has been strained it can become injured and inflamed, and when this happens the tendons will feel painful and tender, particularly when the foot is dorsiflexed (toes pointing towards the sky).

What causes tibialis anterior tendinopathy?

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is typically the result of over-use which places extra strain on the tibialis anterior muscle and tendon. Any activity which places extra strain on the tibialis anterior tendon can result in inflammation and injury to the tendon, and this causes pain. Over-time the tendon may degenerate, leading to a chronic condition.

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy may also be an acute condition, this means that it is the result of a single event, as opposed to over-use over a long period of time. Examples of anterior tibialis tendinopathy caused by a single event include:

  • Shoes rubbing on the tendon
  • A bandage over the tendon that is too tight
  • Kneeling on the tendon
  • A single traumatic event (e.g. being kicked on the tendon)

What are the signs and symptoms of tibialis anterior tendinopathy?

The signs and symptoms of anterior tibialis tendinopathy may include the following:

  • Pain at the front of the ankle, leg or foot. The pain is usually brought on with exercise and eases with rest. The pain usually comes on gradually, getting progressively worse over time
  • Pain may be worse when walking down stairs or hills
  • Redness and/or swelling at the site/sites where the tibialis anterior tendon courses, this may be at the lower third of the leg, the ankle or the foot
  • Accompanying anterior shin splints

How is anterior tibialis tendinopathy diagnosed?

Tibialis anterior tendinopathy can be diagnosed by one of our podiatrists. Our podiatrists are highly skilled to diagnose a variety of pathologies related to the foot and the lower limb, they will use this knowledge, along with the signs and symptoms, a detailed history and an examination to form a diagnosis.

Benefits of podiatry for anterior tibialis tendinopathy

If you have anterior tibialis tendinopathy podiatry will benefit you. The benefits of podiatric assessment and treatment for anterior tibialis tendinopathy include:

  • Improved mechanics of the leg, ankle and foot
  • Reduction in pain
  • Improved gait and posture

Benefits are achieved by improving foot and lower limb function, and by reducing the stress that is being placed on painful structures.

What would podiatry for anterior tibialis tendinopathy involve?

Podiatry for tibialis anterior tendinopathy would involve the following:

The biomechanical assessment is an important part of the assessment, as it will inform the podiatrist as to the mechanics of the lower limb and will give important information as to how the foot and the leg are working together. Upon a diagnosis of anterior tibialis tendinopathy your podiatrist will then explain their findings and devise a treatment plan specific to you. Treatment for anterior tibialis tendinopathy may include:


Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is what is referred to as an overuse injury. If you have tibialis anterior tendinopathy you will experience pain at the front of the shin, which will be worse when the toes are pointing upwards. Tibialis anterior tendinopathy is common among runners, but anyone can be affected. Treatment at for tibialis anterior tendinopathy aims to reduce painful symptoms, improve foot and lower limb function, and reduce future injury.

To arrange an assessment with one of our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

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