Peroneal tendinitis is a condition that results in pain and inflammation of the peroneal tendons. These tendons are located on the outside of the leg and attach to the bones of the foot. In this blog post, we will discuss the possible causes of peroneal tendinitis, as well as its symptoms and treatment options. Keep reading to learn more.
Anatomy of Peroneal Tendons
The peroneal tendons are a pair of tendons located on the outside of the lower leg. There are two tendons, one is called the peroneus longus and the other is called the peroneus brevis. The longus is behind the brevis and eventually reaches the medial part of the foot where it attaches to the 1st metatarsal base. The peroneus brevis is located in front of the longus tendon and attaches to the base of the fifth metatarsal on the outside part of the midfoot. The peroneal tendons help to stabilize the ankle joint and allow for proper movement of the foot. When these tendons become damaged, it can lead to pain and disability. The most common cause of peroneal tendon injury is overuse, such as participating in sports or other activities that put stress on the tendons. Activities that demand a lot of cutting maneuvers (like tennis or basketball) put a lot of stress on the outer ankle and can affect the peroneal tendons too. Other risk factors include being overweight, having a high-arched foot, or having an ankle injury (lateral ankle sprain).
Causes of Peroneal Tendinitis
There are several possible causes of peroneal tendinitis, including overuse and trauma. People who participate in activities that put stress on the outer ankle, such as tennis or basketball, may be more susceptible to developing this condition. Additionally, peroneal tendinitis may also be caused by a single traumatic event, such as a fall or an ankle sprain. This condition is more common in older adults. The peroneal tendons are on the same side of the ankle as the ankle ligaments that can get injured with lateral ankle sprains. It is important to ensure that with an ankle sprain that the peroneal tendons are not affected because they should also be addressed through the rehab protocol for the classic ankle sprain.
Symptoms of Peroneal Tendinitis
If you have peroneal tendinitis, you may experience pain, tenderness, and swelling around the affected tendon. The pain may become worse with activity and improve with rest. You may also notice a clicking or snapping sound when moving your leg or foot.
Treatment Options for Peroneal Tendinitis
There are several non-operative treatment options for peroneal tendinitis that can help to relieve symptoms. These include rest, ice, and physical therapy. If these measures do not improve symptoms after several weeks, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon tear. The goal of surgery is to relieve pain and restore function. Surgery typically involves making an incision in the leg and repairing the tendon tear. Recovery from surgery can take several months.
How do I know if I have peroneal tendon damage?
One of the most common places for tendon damage to occur is in the peroneal tendon. This tendon attaches the calf muscle to the outside of the foot and helps to stabilize the ankle joint. Unfortunately, this tendon is also susceptible to overuse injuries, such as peroneal tendinitis. Symptoms of peroneal tendinitis include pain and swelling around the outside of the ankle, diminished range of motion, and weakness in the affected leg. If you suspect that you have peroneal tendinitis, it is important to see a doctor or certified physical therapist for an accurate diagnosis. Treatment for peroneal tendinitis typically includes a combination of rest, ice, and physical therapy exercises. With proper treatment, most people can recover from peroneal tendinitis within a few weeks. However, if left untreated, this condition can lead to more serious problems, such as peroneal tendon rupture.
Can a torn peroneal tendon heal on its own?
A torn peroneal tendon is a serious injury that can cause debilitating pain and loss of function. While surgery is often the best option for treatment, some patients may be able to heal the tendon on their own with the proper care. The first step in treatment is to immobilize the affected leg to allow the tendon time to heal. This may be done with a splint or cast. Patients will also need to reduce their activity level and avoid any activities that put stress on the tendon. Physical therapy can also help strengthen the tendon and restore range of motion. With proper treatment, many patients can heal the tendon and avoid surgery.
How long does it take a peroneal tendon to heal?
It can take several months for a peroneal tendon injury to heal. The peroneal tendons are located on the outside of the ankle and help to stabilize the foot. These tendons can be easily damaged by a fall or ankle sprain. Treatment for a peroneal tendon injury typically includes immobilization, icing, and physical therapy. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases. Recovery times vary depending on the severity of the injury, but it is not uncommon for it to take several months before the tendons are fully healed. In the meantime, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid putting too much weight on the affected foot. With proper treatment, most people can make a full recovery from a peroneal tendon injury.
Subluxing Peroneal Syndrome
Subluxing peroneal syndromes is a condition where the peroneal tendons snap in and out of place on the outside of the ankle by the fibula bone. This can cause pain, weakness, and instability in the affected ankle.
Subluxing peroneal syndrome is caused by a combination of things, including anatomic factors like a shallow fibular groove (back of the fibula). Trauma to the tendon sheath can also lead to subluxation of the tendons. The tendon sheath is what holds the two tendons and allows it to glide smoothly. A few inches above the ankle joint there is a thickened part of the tendon sheath called the superior peroneal retinaculum (SPR for short) and these can become injured in various degrees leading to instability. Sometimes an SPR injury can occur with a classic lateral ankle sprain.
Subluxing peroneal syndrome is treated with a combination of rest, immobilization, physical therapy, and surgery. Surgery is usually only recommended if conservative treatment options have failed to relieve symptoms after several months. Surgery could potentially involve deepening the fibular groove so the tendons sit deeper and are less likely to pop out of the ankle. The SPR may also have to be repaired as well.
Peroneal tendinitis is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the peroneal tendons. These tendons are located on the outside of the leg and attach the calf muscle to the bones of the foot. Tendinitis can be caused by overuse, trauma, or due to bad biomechanics. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and swelling around the affected tendon. Non-operative treatment options include rest, ice, and physical therapy; however, if these measures fail to improve symptoms, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon tear. The goal of surgery is to relieve pain and restore function; however, recovery from surgery can take several months. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of peroneal tendinitis, speak to your doctor today for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan tailored specifically for you.