Peroneal tendonitis

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Peroneal tendonitis involves the inflammation of the peroneal tendons which travel behind the lateral malleolus or the bony bit on the exterior of the ankle which causes swelling on the exterior ankle. To learn to recognize and manage muscle injuries and conditions including peroneal tendonitis, click here.


The symptoms of peroneal tendonitis usually include swelling and pain on the exterior of the ankle right below the lateral malleolus. The pain is often worse during activity but improves with rest. In most cases, there is pain when pressing in on the peroneal tendons on the exterior part of the ankle.

It is important to note that the pain can be refabricated by stretching out the peroneal muscles by foot inversion or turning it in an inward manner as well as attempting to perform a reverse movement against resistance.

A close look on peroneal tendonitis

The peroneal muscle which is situated at the rear part of the lower leg has a tendon that runs through the lateral malleolus or bony bit on the exterior of the ankle. Take note that overuse can cause the peroneal tendon to rub against the bone and end up swollen.

Individuals who run along slopes which lead to severe rolling out of the foot are at risk for developing peroneal tendonitis. Once the foot rolls in an outward manner, the peroneal tendon is stretched out throughout the bone, thus adding up the friction amid the tendon and bone.

If the calf muscles are tight, it will heighten the tension in the peroneal tendon, causing further rubbing. Overuse is also a contributing factor especially among basketball players or dancers. Take note that over pronation of the foot will cause the peroneal tendon to run against the malleolus on the ankle bone.

Management of peroneal tendonitis

The individual must be given enough time to rest. Since peroneal tendonitis is an overuse injury, continuing to train will not allow the inflammation to subside and can disrupt with the healing process. It might be possible for the individual to engage in other activities such as swimming or cycling to maintain fitness. Just remember that the rule is to stop any activity if pain is triggered.

An ice pack can be applied over the sore area for 10 minutes every hour until the symptoms subside. NSAIDs are prescribed to minimize pain and inflammation. A doctor should be consulted since some medications such as ibuprofen should not be given to those who have asthma.

Stretching of the peroneal muscles and calf muscles is vital. If the peroneal muscles are tight, friction is increased amidst the peroneal tendon and bone. It is recommended to gently stretch the muscles continuously to minimize the tension in the tendon. Remember that this is vital than simply resting alone. In addition, deep tissue sports massage can also be performed to the peroneal muscles to minimize tension in the muscle as well as lengthen the muscles. This will help reduce the tension in the tendon. In severe cases, surgery might be the only option.

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