Peroneal Tendinopathy

(Tendinopathy, Peroneal; Peroneal Tendonitis; Tendonitis, Peroneal; Peroneal Tendon Injury)

Pronounced: Per-o-NEE-al ten-din-AH-path-ee

Definition

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.

Causes    TOP

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

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that increase your risk of peroneal tendinopathy include:

Symptoms    TOP

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.

Diagnosis    TOP

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:

Your doctor may also inject a medicine in local structures. This can help your doctor confirm what structures are causing the problem.

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

Immobilization

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.

Medications

Prescription or over-the-counter medication may be advised for pain. Corticosteroid injections may be needed if treatment is not effective.

Physical Therapy    TOP

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    TOP

Surgery may be needed in some cases. It can help to repair the tendon or adjust support structures of your foot.

Prevention    TOP

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.

RESOURCES:

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
http://aofas.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://canorth.org

References:

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:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 27, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 4/29/2014

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.