Peroneal tendinitis is an irritation to the peroneal tendons, which runs around the lateral malleolus of the fibula bone or the bony part on the outside of the ankle. There are two peroneal tendons that run parallel to each other along the lateral malleolus and inserts to the inside and outside of the foot near the arch. The peroneal tendons are irritated due to overuse and mechanical overload on the tendons. This stress over the tendons leads to an overall effect of micro-trauma or tears and with failed healing of the tendons can cause swelling and tenderness over the outside of the foot where the peroneal tendons courses through.
The following are other signs and symptoms that can occur with peroneal tendinitis:
- Worsening pain during activity but that gets better with rest
- Tenderness over the peroneal tendons on the back of the ankle bone or at its insertion point on the base of the 5th metatarsal bone
- Pain when stretching the peroneal tendons by inverting and everting the foot
Much of the diagnosis is based on the patient’s history such as athletic or work-related overuse activity, athletic training errors, or improper footwear. Upon physical exam, your podiatrist may find pain to palpation on the peroneal tendons, pain with inversion, or a varus heel position.
It is important to see your doctor or podiatrist if pain continues to persist. Your podiatrist may suggest various treatments such as rest, ice, taping, ankle brace, physical therapy, or a change of shoe wear. Peroneal tendinitis can take a considerably long time to heal but following proper instructions from your podiatrist you should be on the road to recovery and can return to your athletic activity.
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