Peroneal Tendinopathy

Overview

Definition

Peroneal tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon along the outside of the ankle bone.

Causes

Causes may be:

  • Overuse of the foot and ankle
  • Trauma
  • Stretching the foot or ankle past its limit

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in people who do sports that use repetitive ankle motions, such as running. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Poor training techniques, such as adding training mileage too quickly
  • Having a high arched foot
  • A prior ankle injury
  • Weak ankles

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

Problems may be:

  • Pain and swelling on the bottom of the foot or outside of the ankle
  • An ankle that feels weak or unstable
  • A snapping feeling around the ankle bone

These problems may cause the arch of the foot to become higher over time.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms, health history, and the sports that you do. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot and ankle. This may be enough to suspect the injury.

Images of your foot and ankle may be taken to confirm the injury. This can be done with:

  • Ultrasound
  • MRI scan

Treatments

Treatment

The goal is to ease pain, improve motion, and stop or slow the problem from getting worse. This may be done with:

  • Ice, rest, and medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle
  • An ankle support or brace to keep the foot and ankle from moving

Some people may need surgery to repair the tendon when other methods do not help.

Prevention

The risk of peroneal tendinopathy may be lowered by:

  • Adding training mileage slowly
  • Using the right techniques when playing sports
  • Doing exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle
  • Wearing proper sports shoes

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.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

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

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

Achilles tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/condition/achilles-tendinopathy . Updated April 30, 2018. Accessed March 31, 2020.

Peroneal tendinosis. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society website. Available at: https://www.footcaremd.org/conditions-treatments/ankle/peroneal-tendinosis. Updated 2018. Accessed March 31, 2020.

Peroneal tendon injuries. American College of Food and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/peroneal-tendon-injuries. Accessed March 31, 2020.