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(Tendinopathy, Peroneal; Peroneal Tendonitis; Tendonitis, Peroneal; Peroneal Tendon Injury)
Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. It can cause pain, swelling, and limited movement. The injury can include:
- Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon
- Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon tissue with no significant inflammation
The peroneal tendons run along the outside of the ankle bone. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury.
Peroneal tendinopathy often occurs as a result of:
- Repetitive overuse injuries which may occur from regular activities
- Trauma to the ankle such as a sudden twisting of the ankle or foot
- A sprained ankle that turned inward
- Overstretching the foot
Factors that increase your risk of peroneal tendinopathy include:
- High arched foot
- Previous ankle sprain or injury
- Weak ankles
Symptoms include pain, tenderness or swelling along the bottom of the foot or side of the ankle. You may also experience weakening or instability in the foot or ankle.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be needed of the foot and ankle. These may be taken with:
- MRI scan
Your doctor may also inject a medicine in local structures. This can help your doctor confirm what structures are causing the problem.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
A cast, splint, or brace may be needed to keep the foot and ankle from moving and allow the tendon to heal. You may also be asked to wear special shoes or inserts.
Prescription or over-the-counter medication may be advised for pain. Corticosteroid injections may be needed if treatment is not effective.
A physical therapist will assess the foot and ankle. Ice or heat therapy and ultrasound may be done to help pain and swelling.
An exercise program will be created to help recovery and to strengthen the muscles.
Surgery may be needed in some cases. It can help to repair the tendon or adjust support structures of your foot.
To help reduce your chance of getting peroneal tendinopathy, take the following steps:
- Avoid activities and sports that repeatedly stress the ankle.
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the ankle.
- Build strong muscles to support your joints.
- Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of exercise.
- Learn proper technique for sports and exercise.
American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Giza E, Mak W, Wong SE, et al. A clinical and radiological study of peroneal tendon pathology. Foot Ankle Spec 2013;6(6):417-421.
Heckman D, Reddy M, Pedowitz D, et al. Operative treatment for peroneal tendon disorders. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008; 90:404-418.
Park HJ, Lee SY, Park NH, et al. Accuracy of MR findings in characterizing peroneal tendons disorders in comparison with surgery. Acta Radiol 2012;53(7):795-801.
Peroneal tendon injuries. American College of Food and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/peroneal-tendon.htm. Accessed March 27, 2018.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
- Review Date: 03/2018
- Update Date: 04/29/2014