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Peroneal Tendon Problems

Two peroneal tendons run parallel to each other, from the outside of the leg below the knee, behind the ankle and into the foot. These tendons help the foot to roll outwards and stabilise the ankle when you are walking or running.

What cause peroneal tendon problems?

  • The most common cause of peroneal tendon problems is overuse, including suddenly increasing sports training, high intensity workouts, wearing the wrong shoes for sport, or running on uneven surfaces. It’s also common in sports such as gymnastics or football where the foot is suddenly pivoted
  • The peroneal tendons can be damaged as a result of being torn or stretched, when you suffer ankle sprain
  • Repetitive movements or a new activity can also cause them to become inflamed, resulting in tendinitis
  • An earlier injury can cause long term degeneration of the tendon (tendinosis)

What are the signs of peroneal tendon problems?

  • Problems that are caused by injuries or tendonitis can lead to pain and inflammation in the ankle
  • Some people experience a sensation of the tendon ‘popping’ or ‘snapping’
  • If the sheath around the tendons is damaged, tendons can dislocate which causes weakness and painful ‘clicking’ when you move the ankle
  • You may have ankle instability and pain when you walk or run

If left untreated, the tendon can rupture (tear) so it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

How are peroneal tendon problems diagnosed?

During your first appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your symptoms with Mr Heidari, who will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment. In many cases, you’ll be advised to take anti-inflammatory painkillers. Other types of treatment depend on the type of tendon problem you have, and Mr Heidari will be able to advise you about this too.

What does treatment involve?

Depending on the type of problem, resting the foot, ideally above the level of your heart from time to time, along with applying an ice pack and using compression bandages or a support bandage may be enough to ease your symptoms. You may also be advised to take anti-inflammatory painkillers. In some cases, Mr Heidari may advise that you follow a rehabilitation programme, supported by a physiotherapist, to strengthen and stretch the calf and peroneal muscles. Some people find that wearing inserts in their shoes can help ease the pain.

In some cases, Mr Heidari may be able to carry out surgery to repair the tendon and/or remove damaged tissue from around the tendon area to help relieve the pain.

This information is written as a guide to your treatment but it is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Please contact us for advice if you are worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.