A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The two peroneal tendons in the foot run side by side behind the outer ankle bone. One peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the midfoot, while the other tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch. The main function of the peroneal tendons is to stabilize the foot and ankle and protect them from sprains.
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. In addition, people with higher arches are at risk of developing peroneal tendon injuries. Basic types of peroneal tendon injuries are tendonitis, tears, and subluxation.
-Tendonitis is an inflammation of one or both tendons. This inflammation is caused by activities involving repetitive use of the tendon, overuse of the tendon, or trauma to the tendon.
Symptoms of tendonitis include:
-Acute tears are caused by repetitive activity or trauma.
Immediate symptoms of acute tears include:
-Tendinosis are degenerative tears that occur from overuse over long periods of time, often years.
The symptoms of degenerative tears may include:
-Subluxation means one or both tendons have slipped out of their normal position.
The symptoms of subluxation may include:
Because peroneal tendon injuries are sometimes misdiagnosed and may worsen without proper treatment, our prompt evaluation is crucial. To diagnose a peroneal tendon injury, we will examine the foot and look for pain, instability, swelling, warmth, and weakness on the outer side of the ankle. In addition, an x-ray or other advanced imaging studies may be needed to fully evaluate the injury. We may also look for signs of an ankle sprain and other related injuries that sometimes accompany a peroneal tendon injury. Proper diagnosis is important because prolonged discomfort after a simple sprain may be a sign of additional problems.
Based on our evaluation, options include: