Article by John Miller
What is Peroneal Tendinopathy?
Peroneal tendonitis is the common term for a peroneal tendinopathy. Peroneal tendinopathy is a condition which is characterised by structural changes of the peroneal tendon in response to load. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an inflammatory condition. Swelling is common due to irritation of the tendon and surrounding structures, however, it is not a crucial aspect of the condition. This is why health practitioners now refer to peroneal tendonitis as the more accurate term: peroneal tendinopathy.
More info about tendinopathy.
Peroneal tendon injuries are usually due to increased loads and overuse of the peroneal muscles. Over time, the tendon thickens in an attempt to manage the increase in tensile load more effectively. Depending on the stage of the tendinopathy, these structural changes are reversible and often respond well to physiotherapy management.
What are the Peroneal Muscles?
The peroneal muscles are located on the outside of your lower leg. They turn the foot out and provide stability to the ankle during weight-bearing. The peroneal tendons wrap around the lateral malleolus (the bony lump on the outer ankle) and attach at different areas on the foot. Every time the peroneal muscles contract, tension is placed on the tendons.
What Causes Peroneal Tendinopathy?
There are a number of different factors which can cause peroneal tendonitis, including
What are the Symptoms of Peroneal Tendinopathy?
People with peroneal tendinopathy may experience:
How is Peroneal Tendinopathy Diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist is an expert in diagnosing peroneal tendinopathies. A variety of tests will be performed to determine the diagnosis and exclude other causes of lateral ankle pain. An ultrasound may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Peroneal Tendinopathy Treatment
The prognosis for peroneal tendinopathy is variable, depending on the stage of the injury.
In the acute phase, you should start to notice an improvement within a couple of weeks of treatment. Treatment in this stage is aimed at reducing load and allowing the irritated tendon to settle. Once the pain lessens, you will be started on a home exercise programme to normalise range of motion, strengthen the lower limb muscles and improve your balance.
Chronic tendinopathies will take longer to recover. The treatment at this stage is largely based on active rehabilitation to improve the tendon’s ability to respond to load. This will include eccentric strengthening of the peroneal muscles; as well as balance, strength and range of motion exercises of the lower limb.
Peroneal Tendinopathy Prevention
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing peroneal tendinopathy.
Return to Sports with Peroneal Tendinopathy
Recovery for athletes with peroneal tendinopathy is generally good and most people are able to return to their previous sporting level without any ongoing problems. It is important that you complete your full rehabilitation program as prescribed by your physiotherapist to prevent further problems and reduce your risk of re-injury.
Helpful Products for Peroneal Tendinopathy
Traumatic Ankle Ligament Injuries
Share this page
Receive Special Offers and the Latest Injury Information
Enter Details Below to Signup: