A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. A peroneal tendon attaches to the outer part of the mid-foot, while another peroneal tendon runs under the foot and attaches near the inside of the arch.
(image by summitmedicalgroup.com)
The peroneal tendon is supposed to stabilize the foot and ankle and protect them from sprains.
Peroneal tendon injuries may occur suddenly or develop over a period of time. Peroneal tendon injuries often happen to individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion. Also, people with higher arches are at risk for peroneal tendon injuries.
Symptoms of peroneal tendon injuries include pain, swelling and warmth to the touch.
Because peroneal tendon injuries are sometimes misdiagnosed and may worsen without proper treatment, so you should have a foot and ankle doctor examine your injury.
To diagnose a peroneal tendon injury, a foot and ankle specialist will examine the foot and look for pain, instability, swelling, warmth, and weakness on the outer side of the ankle. An x-ray or other advanced imaging studies may be needed too. The foot and ankle doctor will also look for signs of an ankle sprain and other related injuries that sometimes accompany a peroneal tendon injury.
Treatment by your foot and ankle specialist depends on the type of peroneal tendon injury. Some options for treatment may include:
- A cast or splint may be used to keep the foot and ankle from moving and allow the injury to heal.
- Oral or injected anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve the pain and inflammation.
- Ice, heat, or ultrasound therapy may be used to reduce swelling and pain. As symptoms improve, exercises can be added to strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion and balance.
- A foot and ankle doctor may provide a brace to use for a short while or during activities requiring repetitive ankle motion. Bracing may also be an option when a patient is not a candidate for surgery.
In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the tendon or tendons and perhaps the supporting structures of the foot. A foot and ankle doctor will determine the best procedure for the patient’s condition and lifestyle. After surgery, physical therapy is an important part of rehabilitation.
Remember, any type of foot pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action. Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 310-551-1711 (Century City) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.