Peroneal tendonitis is a condition in which the peroneal tendons, the peroneus longus and peroneus brevis tendons, become inflamed. These tendons run along the lower leg and outer ankle. Overuse often causes peroneal tendonitis, which doctors also call peroneus brevis tendonitis.
What You Need To Know About Peroneal Tendonitis
What is Peroneal Tendonitis?
The peroneus longus and peroneus brevis tendons run on the outside of the ankle just behind a bone called the fibula. The peroneal tendons and the fibula connect the peroneal muscles of the calf to the foot bone. When functioning normally, this anatomy allows the ankle to turn towards the outside.
Peroneal tendonitis occurs when there is increased use of the tendons. Overuse creates friction between the tendons and the bones. As a result, the tendons swell and become inflamed, leading to early signs of peroneal tendonitis, including pain and difficulty walking.
If you are struggling with pain in your foot and/or ankle, make an appointment with a Resurgens physician today.
What Causes Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis results from overuse and repetitive ankle movements. The condition is common among athletes who participate in vigorous weight-bearing activities, such as long-distance runners. Improper athletic training methods or improper shoes can also contribute to the inflammation of the peroneal tendons.
People with high arches are at more risk for developing peroneal tendonitis in the foot because the slightly inward tilt of their heel adds additional stress to the tendons. Those with abnormalities or imbalances in the lower limb muscles and joints may also be at a higher risk for developing peroneal tendonitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis symptoms typically include pain, swelling, and inflammation around the back and outside the ankle. Turning the foot towards the inside might be painful and turning the foot towards the outside may make the ankle feel weak. The patient may also feel heat radiating from the ankle area. Overuse also exacerbates these symptoms. Contact a physician at the Resurgens Foot and Ankle Center today if you exhibit any of these symptoms.
How is Peroneal Tendonitis Diagnosed?
To diagnose peroneal tendonitis, your Resurgens physician will first discuss your medical history with you. Then your doctor will do a physical exam where they will apply pressure and move the foot and ankle to determine whether the pain is coming from the peroneal tendons or the fibula, since you may experience some mild irritation during this portion of the exam.
Your doctor may also recommend diagnostic imaging like an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to verify a peroneal tendonitis diagnosis and rule out fractures, breaks, abnormalities, or scar tissue swelling. Your physician will create a unique treatment plan for your healing using these test results.
Treatment for Peroneal Tendonitis
There are many treatment options for peroneal tendonitis. Since peroneal tendonitis results from overuse, it often heals without surgery. The length of peroneal tendonitis recovery time depends on the severity of the condition. Your Resurgens physician will discuss the best treatment for peroneal tendonitis and decide which methods are right for you, including non-surgical and surgical options.
Since repetitive motion and overuse causes peroneal tendonitis, rest is one of the best treatment approaches. Using a boot or brace to immobilize the foot and ankle can help speed up the peroneal tendonitis healing time. Icing the affected area frequently can help control swelling.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can reduce peroneus brevis tendonitis symptoms, including pain and inflammation. Once the patient has had a long enough rest period, physical therapy can help regain strength and range of motion in the foot/ankle. Your doctor may also recommend orthotics to give your shoes more support.
If your pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce day-to-day pain. However, a cortisone injection may increase the risk of rupturing the peroneal tendons.
Your doctor may determine peroneal tendon is necessary if the condition does not respond to non-surgical treatment or if there is a tear in the tendons.
One surgical method creates a groove in the back of the fibula bone to give the tendons more space. The tendon may need to be resected in more severe cases, and the longus and brevis tendons surgically attached. The surgeon may also perform a tendon release or a full tendon repair.
Your Resurgens physicians will recommend a treatment plan to minimize your peroneal tendonitis healing time.