Peroneal Tendonitis

What are Peroneal Tendon Injuries

The peroneal tendons are located on the outside of the ankle.

Peroneal tendon injuries may be acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (developing over a period of time). They most commonly occur in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion.  Basic types of peroneal tendon injuries are tendonitis, tears and subluxation.

Tendonitis is an inflammation of one or both tendons. The inflammation is caused by activities involving repetitive use of the tendon, overuse of the tendon or trauma (such as an ankle sprain). Symptoms of tendonitis include:

Acute tears are caused by repetitive activity or trauma. Immediate symptoms of acute tears include:

Degenerative tears (tendonosis) are usually due to overuse and occur over long periods of time, often years. In degenerative tears the tendon has been overstretched until it becomes thin and eventually frays. Having high arches also puts you at risk for developing a degenerative tear. The symptoms of degenerative tears may include:

Subluxation means one or both tendons have slipped out of their normal position. In some cases, subluxation is due to a condition in which a person is born with a variation in the shape of the bone or muscle. In other cases, subluxation occurs following trauma, such as an ankle sprain. Damage or injury to the tissues that stabilize the tendons (retinaculum) can lead to chronic tendon subluxation. The symptoms of subluxation may include:

Causes of Peroneal Tendon injury

  • Trauma – acute trauma to the tendon can result in its degeneration
  • Certain Connective tissue disorders
  • Biomechanical abnormalities- The main cause of Peroneal Tendinitis is having a higher arched foot. This is because the altered alignment causes different muscles to work harder
    Neutral Foot High Arched foot
    In a neutral foot (see above image) the muscles on the inside of the foot (invertors) work just as hard as the muscles on the outside of the foot (evertors). In a higher arched foot the muscles on the outside of the foot (evertors) work a lot harder to try and correct the position of the foot  – overtime this can in inflammation of the peroneal tendons

Treatment of Peroneal tendon injury

Treatment therefore depends on the stage and degree of the deformity.

In the acute stage of the deformity the aim is to rest the tendon and minimise swelling. When the tendon has settled the aim of treatment is to prevent the traumatic lengthening of the tendon, this is achieved by minimising the activity of the evertor muscles and tendons

  • Orthotics with a lateral rearfoot post
  • Footwear modification lateral reafoot post
  • Lace up ankle brace
  • Physiotherapy

The Foot and Ankle Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all lower limb complaints, including Peroneal injury. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Podiatrists Specialising in Peroneal injury servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston