Peroneal Tendinitis

Understanding Your Condition

What is peroneal tendinitis?

Also known a peroneal tendinopathy, peroneal tendinitis is tendinitis that affects the ankle and the foot. It can cause pain on the outside of the foot and on the outside of the lower part of the leg when running or walking. Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Tendons are made of thick and fibrous cords and help attach the muscles of the body to the bones. The muscles and tendons involved in peroneal tendinitis assist in moving the foot in an outward direction and pointing the ankle and foot downward. The affected muscles and tendons also help to stabilize the ankle and provide balance to the foot.

What are the causes and symptoms of peroneal tendinitis?

Peroneal tendinitis is often caused by overuse, especially in patients who regularly run or walk long distances. It can also develop in patients with a history of ankle sprains or those that have weak ankles. If the patient uses incorrect movements during activities such as running, this can result in added stress on the tendon and peroneal tendinitis. The condition is also known to develop as a result of a patient not receiving proper treatment for an ankle sprain.

Symptoms of peroneal tendinitis include pain on the outside of the surface of the ankle that gets noticeably worse with activity. Patients may also notice swelling or tenderness on the outside of the ankle. In addition, patients may experience pain or weakness during movements of the foot involved in walking on sloped terrain or moving the foot in an outward direction. Symptoms typically improve with rest.

How is peroneal tendinitis diagnosed and treated?

In order to diagnose peroneal tendinitis a healthcare provider will discuss the patient’s medical history and ask about their symptoms. The doctor may also order x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions. Nonsurgical treatment options for peroneal tendinitis include immobilization, bracing the ankle, medication used to reduce inflammation, and physical therapy. Surgical treatment for this condition may be recommended if conservative treatment is not effective.

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