Peroneal Tendonitis

Inflammation of one or both of the tendons that link your lower leg to your foot is known as peroneal tendonitis. It is mainly caused by overuse of the tendons, although it can also be caused by a sudden injury, such as an ankle sprain. After several weeks of conservative treatment, the pain and swelling in your peroneal tendons should go away.

What exactly is peroneal tendonitis?

Peroneal tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that run down the outside of your ankle and down the side of your foot. These strong bands of tissue connect your lower leg muscles to the bones of your foot. They protect your foot and ankle by stabilizing and balancing them.

Overuse causes this sort of foot tendonitis, but it can also occur unexpectedly if you fall or damage your foot.

Who is prone to peroneal tendonitis?

Peroneal tendonitis can affect anyone, although it is more common in persons who participate in sports that require a lot of ankle mobility. You are also more prone to acquire peroneal tendonitis if you perform the following:

  • Are over the age of 40.
  • Do not stretch before engaging in physical exercise.
  • Have a medical condition like diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.
  • I've previously suffered tendon injuries.
  • Your feet have high arches.
  • Are overweight or obese.
  • Have tense tendons.
  • Smoke.

How common is peroneal tendinitis?

Peroneal tendonitis is less prevalent than Achilles tendinitis and other types of foot inflammation. In one study of thousands of runners, there were only 13 incidences of peroneal tendinitis (less than 1%).

What is the cause of peroneal tendonitis?

With repeated misuse of the tendons, peroneal tendon inflammation can develop over time. It could also come rapidly as a result of an acute ankle injury, such as a sprain. Tendons and the lubricated sheath that surrounds them might enlarge, making it difficult for them to move smoothly.

What exactly are the signs and symptoms of peroneal tendonitis?

Peroneal tendinitis symptoms may include:

  • Ankle pain that runs the length of the tendon.
  • Physical activity causes pain that worsens.
  • Swelling, redness, or warmth in the area of your tendon.
  • Tenderness with a lump or nodule that moves with the tendon.

Is it possible for your peroneal tendon to rupture?

Peroneal tendinitis, if left untreated, can lead to tendon rupture. This happens when a tendon partially or totally tears. Damaged or weakening tendons can also cause subluxation, which causes the tendons to dislocate. Ruptures or subluxations can result in:

  • Instability or weakening of the ankle.
  • Excruciating pain on the outside of your foot and ankle.
  • Tendons have a sharp, snapping sensation.

How can you tell if you have peroneal tendonitis?

Peroneal tendinitis is a challenging condition to diagnose. The symptoms are similar to those seen with other foot and ankle issues, such as sprains, arthritis, and fractures. According to one study, over 60% of 40 people with peroneal tendinitis were initially misdiagnosed.

However, your healthcare practitioner will do a physical exam and analyze your symptoms. They may push on certain parts of your foot and ankle to see if there is any swelling or pain. Your doctor may also ask you to move your ankle in certain ways to see how much it can move.

Imaging may be required to ensure that you do not have a foot fracture, osteoarthritis, cartilage damage, or torn tissue. Your doctor may advise you to have an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.

What is the treatment for peroneal tendonitis?

Within three to four weeks, conservative therapies can help reduce tendon discomfort and inflammation. If tendonitis is caused by another injury, such as a sprain, recovery may take longer.

Peroneal tendinitis is commonly treated with the following medications:

  • Shoes: By regularly wearing DrLuigi medical footwear
  • Immobilization: You may require a soft cast or boot to immobilize your foot and relieve pressure on your tendons while they heal.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can help with pain and inflammation. In some situations, your doctor may advise you to get steroid injections around the tendon and into the tendon sheath.
  • Physical therapists will walk you through exercises and stretches to help you rebuild strength and flexibility in your foot and ankle. Your therapist may also advise you to use ice, heat, or ultrasound therapy.
  • RICE method: RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can be performed at home. Avoid intense activities to rest. Every two hours, apply an ice pack or cold compress to your ankle for 20 minutes. Wrap your ankle in a compression bandage to minimize swelling and keep it elevated, preferably above your heart level.

Will you require surgery to treat peroneal tendonitis?

If conservative therapy does not relieve your peroneal tendonitis, you may need surgery. A synovectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the damaged outer layers of tissue from your peroneal tendons. Some people may be good candidates for a synovectomy that is less invasive and has smaller cuts and a faster recovery time.

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